An exploration of the consumption orientation in Romania
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This study aims to explore possible causal factors for consumption orientation (interchangeably referred as materialism) in Romania, and to offer possible alternatives to be investigated in future cross-cultural studies of materialism. The employed research method - group discussions - attempts to reveal insights, provide rich and in-depth understanding, and generate new ideas regarding causal factors and traits of materialism. Results of the discussions with people in urban and rural areas, indicated that the macro-environment has been influencing the cultural values, in the last decades, emphasizing the end-states of existence (terminal values). Recent developments in the Romanian society led to changes in the consumer culture, and modes of existence (instrumental values) become increasingly important for Romanians' consumption orientation. Some psychological factors, interacting with these values, seem to affect consumption orientation. Need for freedom, need for selfrespect and social recognition are suggested to be the driving forces for today's Romanian consumption patterns. These needs facing different environmental constraints (restrictions imposed by political, social, or economical reasons) are finalized in conflictual states of mind, ranging between satisfaction and frustration. With the need for freedom and individual achievements (i.e. self-respect, self-esteem, social recognition, freedom of choice) pointed as sources for personal satisfaction in consumption, the Romanian context adds a new dimension to the present sum of materialism's traits (i.e. possessiveness, envy, nongenerosity, tangibilization - Ger and Belk, 1990) - independence. This trait was defined as the "tendency to reject any domination over one's personal life, possessions, or experience.
Romanian consumption orientation
consumption related values in Romania.