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Ukukhothana: Conspicuous consumption and destruction in an emerging economy
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.). Gordon Institute of Business Science University of Pretoria, South Africa.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6117-4408
GIBS, University of Pretoria.
2019 (English)In: Journal of Business Research, ISSN 0148-2963, E-ISSN 1873-7978Article in journal (Refereed) Accepted
Abstract [en]

This study investigates “ukukhothana” as a form of conspicuous consumption and destruction among poor black youth in South Africa. In highly-stylized public displays, competing crews gather to flaunt and taunt: they parade their wealth—typically luxury brands, but also cash—while boasting of their superiority. The displays culminate with acts of conspicuous destruction during which the luxury products are ripped, smashed, or burned. Based on qualitative research conducted in several townships, including depth interviews and observation, this study yields insights into the main features of ukukhothana as well as the drivers for engaging in this behavior. We identify three drivers: costly signaling, sexual signaling, and elements of power and powerlessness. Ukukhothana diverges from other forms of conspicuous consumption as it is both a stylized art form and a subversive form of power and resistance to the conditions of structural poverty.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London, 2019.
Keywords [en]
Ukukhothana, Conspicuous Consumption, Conspicuous Destruction, Emerging Markets.
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-259987OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-259987DiVA, id: diva2:1354071
Note

QC 20191001

Available from: 2019-09-24 Created: 2019-09-24 Last updated: 2019-10-03Bibliographically approved
In thesis
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The full text will be freely available from 2020-01-08 14:30
Available from 2020-01-08 14:30

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Chipp, Kerry

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  • de-DE
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Output format
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