Abstract People increasingly seek out opportunities to escape from a sped-up pace of life via engaging in slow forms of consumption. Drawing from the theory of social acceleration, we explore how consumers can experience and achieve a slowed down experience of time through consumption. To do so, we ethnographically study the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in Spain and introduce the concept of consumer deceleration. Consumer deceleration is a perception of a slowed down temporal experience achieved via a decrease in certain quantities (travelled distance, use of technology, experienced episodes) per unit of time through altering, adopting, or eschewing forms of consumption. Consumers decelerate in three ways: embodied, technological, and episodic. Each is enabled by consumer practices and market characteristics, rules and norms, and results in time being experienced as passing more slowly and as being an abundant resource. Achieving deceleration is challenging as it requires re-synchronization to a different temporal logic as well as the ability to manage intrusions from acceleration. Conceptualizing consumer deceleration allows us to enhance our understanding of temporality and consumption, embodied consumption, extraordinary experiences, and the theory of social acceleration. Overall, this study contributes to consumer research by illuminating the role of speed and rhythm in consumer culture. speed, consumption, social acceleration, deceleration, pilgrimage, Camino de Santiago © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Journal of Consumer Research, Inc. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/about_us/legal/notices)
Journal of Consumer Research – Oxford University Press
Published: May 18, 2018
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