School of Business publications portal
This portal is no longer updated. Aalto University School of Business Master's Theses are now in the Aaltodoc publication archive (Aalto University institutional repository)
School of Business | Department of Marketing | Marketing | 2014
Thesis number: 13699
Experiencing nature through consumption: studying sailors' experiences
Author: Mäenpää, Emma
Title: Experiencing nature through consumption: studying sailors' experiences
Year: 2014  Language: eng
Department: Department of Marketing
Academic subject: Marketing
Index terms: markkinointi; marketing; kuluttajakäyttäytyminen; consumer behaviour; elämykset; experiences; luonto; nature; merenkulku; navigation; kuluttajat; consumers; matkailu; tourism
Pages: 80
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_13699.pdf pdf  size:867 KB (887646)
Key terms: Consumer culture, experiencing nature, nature ideologies, synthesizing solution, existential-phenomenology, sustainable consumption

The main objective of the study is to explore how consumers experience nature through consumption. The background of the current study is in unsustainable consumption of antifouling paints in leisure time boats. Therefore, the context of the research is studying sailors' experiences mainly at the Baltic Sea. It studies how nature ideologies influence sailors thought, speech and action and the relationships between the ideologies rising from sailor's experiences. The study also explores the meanings behind sailing consumption to find opportunities for sustainable consumption. The research lies under Consumer Culture Theory (CCT) concept addressing socio-cultural, experiential, symbolic and ideological consumption.


The research is interpretative and qualitative in nature. Six well-experienced Finnish sailors were interviewed. The interview transcriptions form the empirical data of the study. Interviews, analysis and interpretation followed the existential-phenomenological research approach and method.

Key findings:

The key findings of the study discover that multiple ideologies of nature influence sailing experiences simultaneously. These ideologies follow previously found Romantic and Gnostic ideologies but the findings show them to be too extreme creating a need for idealized solutions of Survival and Liberating ideologies. The study frames the multiple nature ideologies into a Semiotic Square of nature ideologies framework, which illustrates the contradictions between the ideologies and forms an interrelated synthesis between them. The findings also describe how sailing as a loved activity allows sailors to have advantages of the contradictive ideologies and bring synthesizing solution. This research finds that meanings behind sailing consumption stem from sailors' identity work and are driven by nature. Thus, the findings emphasize that marketers attempting to influence consumers' unsustainable consumption should focus not only on viewing nature as a single pure nature but studying the ideologies behind consumption and extending the view into a broader dynamic ideological model.
Electronic publications are subject to copyright. The publications can be read freely and printed for personal use. Use for commercial purposes is forbidden.