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 March 31, 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 March 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AP (Mar. 25, 2015) — While distracted driving is not a new problem for teens, new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says it&apos;s much more serious than previously thought. (March 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 25, 2015) — European researchers say our smartphone use offers scientists an ideal testing ground for human brain plasticity. Dr Ako Ghosh&apos;s team discovered that the brains and thumbs of smartphone users interact differently from those who use old-fashioned handsets. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Newsy (Mar. 24, 2015) — According to a new study by the Alzheimer&apos;s Association, more than half of those who have the degenerative brain disease aren&apos;t told by their doctors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

Newsy (Mar. 23, 2015) — Researchers found those who napped for 45 minutes to an hour before being tested on information recalled it five times better than those who didn&apos;t. 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:

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