Hedonic consumption practices of the disadvantaged and their well-being outcomes: a multimethod research on Syrian refugees in Turkey

Date
2021-08
Advisor
Ekici, Ahmet
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Bilkent University
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English
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Abstract

Consumption may be a practical tool to cope with the challenges of displacement. While there is extensive research on vulnerable groups such as immigrants and the poor as consumers, research on refugee consumers is quite limited. Moreover, consumers are not equal when it comes to consuming certain products and services, and thus research on the hedonic consumption of refugees is far from preliminary exploration. This research aims to fill this gap by studying refugees’ hedonic consumption, its functional role as a coping strategy, and its potential unintended consequences. Such an approach is essential for the mutual understanding of refugees and their local hosts and a harmonious living together, as refugees are also part of the greater consumer society, which plays a substantial role in the proper functioning of everyday life. The dissertation starts with an introduction covering literature on related topics such as hedonic consumption, coping, prosocial behavior, and well-being. Then, the qualitative research methodology is presented, followed by the findings of the field study. A framework is proposed to illustrate the various well-being outcomes of hedonic consumption through social capital and psychological capital that help refugees cope in some distinct ways. Next, local prosocial tendencies resulting from refugees’ hedonic consumption are tested to illustrate the subsequent local backlash towards refugees. Finally, community well-being outcomes of entrepreneurship driven by hedonic consumption are presented with a model that brings forth the importance of trust in refugee-hosting communities. The dissertation ends with a summary and intended contributions. Implications for marketers and policymakers are also discussed.

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Hedonic consumption, Prosocial behavior and coping, Syrian refugees, Turkey, Well-being
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Published Version (Please cite this version)