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School of Business | Department of Marketing | Marketing | 2013
Thesis number: 13508
Negotiating authenticity in consuming the hyperreal
Author: Kuronen, Noora
Title: Negotiating authenticity in consuming the hyperreal
Year: 2013  Language: eng
Department: Department of Marketing
Academic subject: Marketing
Index terms: markkinointi; marketing; viestintä; communication; sosiaalinen media; social media; kuluttajakäyttäytyminen; consumer behaviour; blogit; blogs
Pages: 97
Key terms: authenticity; simulation; hyperreal; everyday consumption; blogs

This study seeks to further our understanding of how authenticity is negotiated and produced in online discourses; what forms of negotiating authenticity can be identified. The idea is not to produce absolute answers, but to extent our understanding of the concept of authenticity in the culture increasingly based on simulation.


The research approach used in this study is Consumer Culture Theory (CCT). CCT studies consumption choices and behaviors from a cultural and social perspective. It represents the postmodern view within the broader paradigm of marketing and consumer research. For the data collection a netnography of popular Finnish lifestyle and fashion blogs was carried out. Seven in-depth interviews with blog followers were also conducted. The data collected with these methods was analyzed using hermeneutic approach.


Lifestyle blogs glorify everyday life. They make real life into a glorified experience, which satisfies and inspires readers. Four netnographic themes to produce authenticity in blogs were identified: negotiating transparency, identifiability, individuality, and coherence. It is suggested that consumers search for a satisfying combination of authenticity and daydream in lifestyle blogs - entertaining authenticity is preferred to pure authenticity. Authenticity is seen as something that is constantly negotiated: not as a stable attribute of an object. The experience of authenticity may change when our views and contexts change. Authenticity is a subjective experience that can be found even in the hyperreal.
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