Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Consumers and their rights: A new study from Australia

Date:
May 18, 2010
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
Consumers tend to be cynical about the motivations of credit card companies, yet they lack the time or motivation to engage in political action to protect their rights, according to a new study.

Consumers tend to be cynical about the motivations of credit card companies, yet they lack the time or motivation to engage in political action to protect their rights, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Author Paul C. Henry (University of Sydney) conducted a study in Australia to reveal the ways consumers view themselves, other credit card holders, and companies that provide credit. "Despite the relatively high public profile of opinions and legislative action, there is a startling lack of understanding as to how mainstream consumers actually think about their own rights and responsibilities related to credit cards," Henry writes.

Henry examined articles from major Sydney metropolitan newspapers, consumer complaints about credit cards, and government literature. He also conducted interviews with non-activist consumers.

Despite the common appeals for instant gratification that consumer society presents, Henry found that consumers valued ideals of prudence and self-control. For example, commonly held ideas that prize individual autonomy and self-reliance led to moral judgments of people burdened with high credit card debt. "The upshot of this lack of sympathy for those with card difficulties is the common perception that 'you got yourself into this, then you have to get yourself out of the hole,'" Henry explains.

Even though many western nations are experiencing calls for greater consumer protection, the study suggests that consumer advocacy is a top-down phenomenon. "Governments are keen to associate themselves with advocacy groups on low-risk popular issues, in order to enhance their political credibility; and where media commentators have found an easy target in sensationalist stories of corporate evil," writes Henry.

"Overall, informants in this study displayed little stomach to stand up and push for greater consumer protection. This included debt-free and deep-in-debt people," Henry writes. "The political and moral tensions, illustrated above, combined with lack of time and energy contribute to this state. Add to this the fact that most people are reasonably prudent with their card usage and don't see the need for more regulation, it appears that any future regulative enhancements will continue to be driven from top-down."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. PaulC. Henry. How Mainstream Consumers Think about Consumer Rights and Responsibilities. Journal of Consumer Research, 2010: 100510133653071 DOI: 10.1086/653657

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Consumers and their rights: A new study from Australia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100518113228.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2010, May 18). Consumers and their rights: A new study from Australia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100518113228.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Consumers and their rights: A new study from Australia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100518113228.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Climate Change Rally Held in India Ahead of UN Summit

Climate Change Rally Held in India Ahead of UN Summit

AFP (Sep. 20, 2014) Some 125 world leaders are expected to commit to action on climate change at a UN summit Tuesday called to inject momentum in struggling efforts to tackle global warming. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Sixteen large food and beverage companies in the United States that committed to cut calories in their products far surpassed their target. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins