When differences unite: Resource dependence in heterogeneous consumption communities

Tandy Chalmers Thomas, Linda L Price, Hope J Schau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

133 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although heterogeneity in consumption communities is pervasive, there is little understanding of its impact on communities. This study shows how heterogeneous communities operate and interact with the marketplace. Specifically, the authors draw on actor-network theory, conceptualizing community as a network of heterogeneous actors (i.e., individuals, institutions, and resources), and examine the interplay of these actors in a mainstream activity-based consumption community -the distance running community. Findings, derived from a multimethod investigation, show that communities can preserve continuity even when heterogeneity operates as a destabilizing force. Continuity preserves when community members depend on each other for social and economic resources: a dependency that promotes the use of frame alignment practices. These practices enable the community to (re)stabilize, reproduce, and reform over time. The authors also highlight the overlapping roles of consumers and producers and develop a dimensional characterization of communities that helps bridge prior research on brand communities, consumption subcultures, and consumer tribes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1010-1033
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Volume39
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2013

Fingerprint

resources
community
continuity
Resource dependence
Resources
actor-network-theory
subculture
producer
ethnic group
reform
economics
Continuity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Anthropology

Cite this

When differences unite : Resource dependence in heterogeneous consumption communities. / Thomas, Tandy Chalmers; Price, Linda L; Schau, Hope J.

In: Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 39, No. 5, 02.2013, p. 1010-1033.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{1a5838291ed4474f8a785349e23aa54d,
title = "When differences unite: Resource dependence in heterogeneous consumption communities",
abstract = "Although heterogeneity in consumption communities is pervasive, there is little understanding of its impact on communities. This study shows how heterogeneous communities operate and interact with the marketplace. Specifically, the authors draw on actor-network theory, conceptualizing community as a network of heterogeneous actors (i.e., individuals, institutions, and resources), and examine the interplay of these actors in a mainstream activity-based consumption community -the distance running community. Findings, derived from a multimethod investigation, show that communities can preserve continuity even when heterogeneity operates as a destabilizing force. Continuity preserves when community members depend on each other for social and economic resources: a dependency that promotes the use of frame alignment practices. These practices enable the community to (re)stabilize, reproduce, and reform over time. The authors also highlight the overlapping roles of consumers and producers and develop a dimensional characterization of communities that helps bridge prior research on brand communities, consumption subcultures, and consumer tribes.",
author = "Thomas, {Tandy Chalmers} and Price, {Linda L} and Schau, {Hope J}",
year = "2013",
month = "2",
doi = "10.1086/666616",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "39",
pages = "1010--1033",
journal = "Journal of Consumer Research",
issn = "0093-5301",
publisher = "University of Chicago",
number = "5",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - When differences unite

T2 - Resource dependence in heterogeneous consumption communities

AU - Thomas, Tandy Chalmers

AU - Price, Linda L

AU - Schau, Hope J

PY - 2013/2

Y1 - 2013/2

N2 - Although heterogeneity in consumption communities is pervasive, there is little understanding of its impact on communities. This study shows how heterogeneous communities operate and interact with the marketplace. Specifically, the authors draw on actor-network theory, conceptualizing community as a network of heterogeneous actors (i.e., individuals, institutions, and resources), and examine the interplay of these actors in a mainstream activity-based consumption community -the distance running community. Findings, derived from a multimethod investigation, show that communities can preserve continuity even when heterogeneity operates as a destabilizing force. Continuity preserves when community members depend on each other for social and economic resources: a dependency that promotes the use of frame alignment practices. These practices enable the community to (re)stabilize, reproduce, and reform over time. The authors also highlight the overlapping roles of consumers and producers and develop a dimensional characterization of communities that helps bridge prior research on brand communities, consumption subcultures, and consumer tribes.

AB - Although heterogeneity in consumption communities is pervasive, there is little understanding of its impact on communities. This study shows how heterogeneous communities operate and interact with the marketplace. Specifically, the authors draw on actor-network theory, conceptualizing community as a network of heterogeneous actors (i.e., individuals, institutions, and resources), and examine the interplay of these actors in a mainstream activity-based consumption community -the distance running community. Findings, derived from a multimethod investigation, show that communities can preserve continuity even when heterogeneity operates as a destabilizing force. Continuity preserves when community members depend on each other for social and economic resources: a dependency that promotes the use of frame alignment practices. These practices enable the community to (re)stabilize, reproduce, and reform over time. The authors also highlight the overlapping roles of consumers and producers and develop a dimensional characterization of communities that helps bridge prior research on brand communities, consumption subcultures, and consumer tribes.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84873874950&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84873874950&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1086/666616

DO - 10.1086/666616

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84873874950

VL - 39

SP - 1010

EP - 1033

JO - Journal of Consumer Research

JF - Journal of Consumer Research

SN - 0093-5301

IS - 5

ER -