Consumer anxiety and coping in COVID times: towards a sociological understanding of consumer resilience

Claire Ingram, Robert Caruana, Anita Chakrabarty, Mihaela Kelemen, Russa Yuan

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

15 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This article develops a sociological understanding of consumer resilience across three national contexts during a prolonged, global health crisis – COVID-19. We asked 112 individuals from the UK, China and Malaysia to diarise their consumption during the initial lockdowns of 2020. We found that when social subjects were confronted with material, socio-relational and symbolic restrictions, two types of anxieties emerged – health, safety and wellbeing and social alienation – along with three coping-response strategies, consumer purification, consumer policing and consumer sociality. At this anxiety–coping interface, we identify reflexive, emotive and transformative narratives that are productive of consumer resilience. In this era of ‘Permacrisis’ relating to war, health, climate and cost-of-living, it is essential to examine consumer behaviour under conditions of deep uncertainty to comprehend how (resilient) social subjects use the (non-)market domain to cope with anxieties caused by multifaceted restrictions placed on everyday life.
Original languageEnglish
Article number19
JournalSociology
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2023

Keywords

  • anxiety
  • consumer resilience
  • coping
  • crisis
  • cross-cultural
  • diaries
  • pandemic

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Consumer anxiety and coping in COVID times: towards a sociological understanding of consumer resilience'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this