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19th September, 2013

Place Attachment in Commercial Settings: A Gift Economy Perspective

Event Details

19th September, 2013
12.10pm - 1.30pm
Room 3002, Cass Business School, 106 Bunhill Row, London EC1Y 8TZ
Free but booking required

Faculty of Management Research Workshop

Speakers: Zeynep Arsel, John Molson School of Business, Concordia University

Place attachment is one’s strong emotional bond with a specific location. While there are numerous studies on the topic, the literature pays little attention to commercial settings. This is because they are seen as too insipid to rouse attachment. Consumer research, however, suggests otherwise.

To address this disparity, the authors investigate how people develop, experience, and act upon place attachment in commercial settings. Findings from consumer in-depth interviews and self reports conducted in France reveal that place attachment develops through perceptions of familiarity, authenticity and security and evolves into experiences of homeyness. Consumers find these encounters of homeyness extraordinary, and respond by engaging in volunteering, over-reciprocation, and ambassadorship towards the place. We further theorize these findings through a gift economy perspective and identify a tripartite exchange between the consumer, the proprietor of the place and selected people from the consumer’s social network. 

Zeynep Arsel is Associate Professor of Marketing at John Molson School of Business. She is the recipient of 2011 Petro Canada Young Innovator Award, and 2011 Sidney J. Levy Award. Her research focuses on consumption with a sociological, anthropological and historical focus. She published high impact articles in the Journal of Consumer Research and Journal of Marketing, is in the editorial board of Journal of Consumer Research and Consumption Markets and Culture, and routinely presents at international conferences. Arsel’s work has been funded by SSHRC, FQRSC, Association for Consumer Research, Marketing Science Institute, and was featured in mass media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Harper’s Magazine, Globe and Mail, WIRED, Psychology Today, Montreal Gazette, Vancouver Sun, Ottawa Citizen,, Le Devoir, L’Actualite, La Presse, and countless blogs.

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