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School of Business | Department of Marketing | Marketing | 2016
Thesis number: 14283
Practices of consuming trotting: How a community of devoted enthusiasts forms around a leisure activity
Author: Aro, Atte
Title: Practices of consuming trotting: How a community of devoted enthusiasts forms around a leisure activity
Year: 2016  Language: eng
Department: Department of Marketing
Academic subject: Marketing
Index terms: markkinointi; marketing; kuluttajat; consumers; kuluttajakäyttäytyminen; consumer behaviour; yhteisöt; communities; elämäntapa; way of life; vapaa-aika; leisure
Pages: 59
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_14283.pdf pdf  size:2 MB (1652479)
Key terms: practice theory; consumer culture; subcultures; consumption practices; trotting; betting

The objective of my study was to gain new insight on how practices of leisure subcultures form communities. I conducted ethnographic research on Finnish trotting community to learn what kinds of trotting practices exist, how those practices are organized and what is the inherent logic of those practices. My study takes a practice theoretical approach to point out the dominant practices of trotting. I also wanted to find out how community members make sense of those practices and what kind of meanings are attached to their actions. Finally my aim was to contribute to the research of Consumer Culture Theory (CCT) and especially to the study of leisure subcultures.


The study was qualitative and ethnographic in nature. I familiarized myself to Finnish trotting community by observing the events at horse tracks. I kept detailed field notes, recorded video clips and shot photos of the practices and events. To understand the meaning making process behind the practices I observed I conducted semi-structured interviews with active members of the trotting community. Altogether 8 people were interviewed and the transcribed interviews served as another key source of data for my research.

Key findings

I was able to name four categories for the practices of consuming trotting. Those were watching the races, betting, eating & drinking and socializing. Watching the races and betting are autotelic actions that support each other and in which most members of trotting community engage in. Eating and drinking is an instrumental action that supports and facilitates the more essential practices. Socializing is in central role within the community and can contain autotelic playful features and also support other functions of the community. By organizing the practices based on Holt's (1995) typography of consumption practices I learned that through trotting practices community members sought to interact with elements of nature & countryside, to learn new skills and succeed in the sport and to form social ties and interact with same minded people
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