Hidden consumers in marketing - the neglect of consumers with scarce resources in affluent societies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Abstract Research in marketing has neglected economic scarcity in affluent
societies, with a few exceptions. Many affluent states are today facing financial difficulties and a global belief in the market as self-regulating, and in de-regulation have led to a focus on consumer agency. This has also contributed to a widening gap regarding opportunities to consume in affluent societies. The purpose of this article is to bring attention to the importance of considering economic scarcity in affluent societies among marketers in studies on consumption by using theoretical concepts from welfare studies such as inclusion and exclusion, participation and inequality. Researchers who ignore the consequences of the lower strata in the income hierarchy disregard the complexity of consumption. It is argued that regardless of income, we are all consumers, but with different opportunities and abilities. The hegemony of free choice needs to be challenged.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social Work


  • Social comparison., Participation, Inclusion/exclusion, Consumption, Welfare
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)697-712
JournalJournal of Marketing Management
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - 2009