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School of Business | Department of Marketing | Marketing | 2016
Thesis number: 14354
Caught in an avalanche: Key aspects of consumer identity work through seasonal sports
Author: Viiala, Tommi
Title: Caught in an avalanche: Key aspects of consumer identity work through seasonal sports
Year: 2016  Language: eng
Department: Department of Marketing
Academic subject: Marketing
Index terms: markkinointi; marketing; urheilu; sports; kuluttajakäyttäytyminen; consumer behaviour; yhteisöt; communities; kokemus; experience; elämykset; experiences; identiteetti; identity
Pages: 76
Key terms: snowboarding; identity; identity work; seasonality; sports; seasonal sports; subcultures of consumption; fanaticism; consumer experience; extraordinary experience; ritual
This research presents the analysis of key aspects of identity work under seasonal restrictions to consumption of sports. It shows how seasonality is used as a resource for extensive identity work. This is done by exploring and presenting research on identity work focusing especially on research done on the fields of fanaticism, extraordinary experience, rituals and subcultures of consumption. The extensive literature review is complemented by a primary research of a seasonal sport of snowboarding. This is done by means of interview based with triangulation from other sources, the main focus being on in-depth interviews. I first theorize that what makes the context of seasonality peculiar are the conditions of extended unavailability and recurring incidence resonating on the construction of consumer identities. Four key aspects related to consumer identity work in such conditions are presented. These are extending the season, acquisition of objects, extensive preparation, and replication of the feeling. Each key aspect, also expresses a way of overcoming seasonality to maintain a coherent identity and a consistent identity narrative which can be exercised, conveyed and communicated year round, and a way to avoid the need for apparent multiple identities of which only one can be the real sense of self.
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