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School of Business | Department of Marketing | Marketing | 2014
Thesis number: 13721
Does a successful consumer movement require being cohesive and have a unified goal? Ethnography of Restaurant Day
Author: Hauru, Elisa
Title: Does a successful consumer movement require being cohesive and have a unified goal? Ethnography of Restaurant Day
Year: 2014  Language: eng
Department: Department of Marketing
Academic subject: Marketing
Index terms: markkinointi; marketing; kuluttajat; consumers; kuluttajakäyttäytyminen; consumer behaviour; etnografia; ethnography; ravintolat; restaurants; palvelut; service; kampanjointi; campaigning
Pages: 65
Key terms: consumer resistance, consumer movements, ethnography
Objectives of the study:

Consumer resistance literature usually assumes the contradiction between marketers and consumers. The main objective of this study is to provide further understanding of collective consumer resistance. In particular, Van Bommel and Spicer (2011) call for research on growth of "for instance, the role of social movements in sustaining or destroying a field. A particularly interesting question is how such fields move from being a broad movement to becoming a mass movement." (p.1737) Consumer movement theory has been concentrated on how consumer can create new institutions or transform the existing ones. My study aims to provide further understanding of the activities that people engage themselves and create value for themselves and other consumers in respect of consumer resistance.


Restaurant Day, a one-day food carnival born in Finland and held four times a year, is chosen as a research context. The methodology consists of ethnographic research methods including formal and informal interviews, observation, netnography and self-participation in Restaurant Day.


Through the ethnographic study it was instantly notable that Restaurant Day got various meanings to each informants and it received deeper meanings in consumers' minds. Even though the standpoint was driven from the resisting, there was always fun, play and excitement going hand in hand with the resistance movement. Restaurant Day offered a possibility for individuals to express themselves and creatively pursue individuated identities. I made a categorization of Restaurant Day participants including the resistors and aspiring entrepreneurs. Moreover, as the findings prove, some were there to have fun and some attended for the social aspect of Restaurant Day. I further suggested that the motivations may be overlapping and one motive does not exclude the other ones. Moreover, I suggested that Restaurant Day was able to achieve cultural change but changes in legislation did not happen. The authorities allow Restaurant Day organization's work and let citizens to organize Restaurant Day four times a year. As it is allowed to create the utopian marketplace few times a year, it has been able to generate cultural changes
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