Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Climbing Mount Everest: Noble adventure or selfish pursuit?

Date:
December 22, 2010
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
Adventure seekers are plunking down more than $50,000 to climb Mount Everest, but a new study finds that people who pay for transformative experiences often lack the communitarian spirit that usually defines such activities.

Adventure seekers are plunking down more than $50,000 to climb Mount Everest, but a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research finds that people who pay for transformative experiences often lack the communitarian spirit that usually defines such activities.

Related Articles


"In order to escape the rules, contraptions, and stresses of daily life in the city, many people search for new and liberating experiences that transcend their normal bureaucratic and corporate existence," write authors Gülnur Tumbat (San Francisco State University) and Russell W. Belk (York University). However, it seems that competition and conflict rear their heads even on romanticized adventures like climbing to the top of the world.

The authors conducted an ethnographic study of commercialized climbing expeditions on Everest, which focused on paying clients. "Although we were initially guided by the expectation of more of a communitarian spirit, we came to realize that consumer behavior scholars had failed to appreciate and understand the competitive, individualistic, and status-seeking aspects of such activities," the authors write.

The research discovered a tendency for paying climbers to jostle for position rather than cooperating in a communal atmosphere. "What they have is a forced companionship for many, far from any real spirit of community," the authors write. "Money versus personal skill and experience compete as climbers argue that they deserve to summit the mountain while others there do not."

The authors found that climbers were focused on their individual accomplishments and with proclaiming unique positions (for example, being the first British woman to climb Everest). "What we found in the context of Mount Everest is individualism, competitiveness, contradiction, and power-seeking through extreme experiences purchased from what is now known as the experience economy," the authors write.

"Our study finds that extraordinary experiences, when bought in the marketplace, can be destructive of feelings of camaraderie and reinforce an individualistic and competitive ethos that I, the climber, am the only one who matters," the authors conclude.


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. Gülnur Tumbat, Russell W. Belk. Marketplace Tensions in Extraordinary Experiences. Journal of Consumer Research, June 2011 [link]

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Climbing Mount Everest: Noble adventure or selfish pursuit?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101222112241.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2010, December 22). Climbing Mount Everest: Noble adventure or selfish pursuit?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101222112241.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Climbing Mount Everest: Noble adventure or selfish pursuit?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101222112241.htm (accessed January 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, January 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

Newsy (Jan. 25, 2015) — More schools are using online classes to keep from losing time to snow days, but it only works if students have Internet access at home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

BuzzFeed (Jan. 24, 2015) — Did you back it up? Do you even know how to do that? Video provided by BuzzFeed
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) — A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

RightThisMinute (Jan. 23, 2015) — Not only is Kathy seeing her newborn son for the first time, but this is actually the first time she has ever seen a baby. Kathy and her sister, Yvonne, have been legally blind since childhood, but thanks to an amazing new technology, eSight glasses, which gives those who are legally blind the ability to see, she got the chance to see the birth of her son. It&apos;s an incredible moment and an even better story. Video provided by RightThisMinute
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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