Garcia-Álvarez, López-Sintas and Zerva (2009)
|Garcia-Álvarez, López-Sintas and Zerva (2009)|
|Title:||A contextual theory of accessing music: Consumer behavior and ethical arguments|
|Author(s):||Garcia-Álvarez, E., López-Sintas, J., Zerva, K.|
|Citation:||García‐Álvarez, E., López‐Sintas, J., & Zerva, K. (2009). A contextual theory of accessing music: Consumer behavior and ethical arguments. Consumption, Markets and Culture, 12(3), 243-264.|
|Key Related Studies:|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||A sample consisted of 23 individuals (aged up to 36) from a number of European and Latin American countries, all resident in Barcelona (Spain), with different social, cultural and economic living conditions (and also heterogeneous within each country).|
|Data Type:||Primary and Secondary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||Yes|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:||
Previous research into the ethics of accessing information goods using alternative means (the informal economy or social exchanges) has failed to study the moral arguments used by music consumers to justify their behavior or explain actions they considered to be (un)ethical. To fill this gap, we conducted a study from the perspective of music consumers in which we grounded a theory that would explain and predict individual arguments and behavior. Our findings suggest that the morality of accessing culture depends on the social, economic and cultural context in which an individual has been raised. Interestingly, this contextual aspect interacts with economic and cultural resources, affecting the moral arguments used to justify behavior. Lastly, we describe a model that explains variations in the contextual theory in regard to accessing music and that predicts consumer behavior in other countries that can be classified in either of the two contexts delineated in our research.
Main Results of the Study
This article uses grounded theory approach (Glaser and Strauss 1967) to conceptualize and model the complex social process for accessing and consuming music:
- Its findings suggest that the morality of people’s actions regarding access to culture depends on the social, economic and cultural context in which they operate. Social context and economic and cultural personal resources affect consumer behavior and moral arguments.
- The moral arguments used to justify the same action thus varied according to context. Differences, in fact, seemed to crystallize around the social, cultural and economic background of the interviewees in childhood and around their current social position in terms of economic and cultural resources.
- Social context interacts with individual economic and cultural capital, affecting consumer actions and the moral arguments used to justify these actions.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
- An understanding of contextual differences is the key to explaining and predicting consumer decisions.
- In regard to alternative ways of accessing information goods, what is considered wrong by the music industry is not necessarily consistent with what consumers consider wrong. In fact, what consumers considered to be right or wrong varied according to the public resources available in terms of being able to access culture.
Coverage of Study
|Level of aggregation:||Individual|
|Period of material under study:||2009|