When people line up to buy a new iPhone, what is it that they are really buying? New research shows there are four main ideologies governing our consumption of technology, revealing that conceptions of technological use introduced hundreds of years ago still influence our adoption of new products and services today.
"Ideologies work like culture: they are mostly invisible and taken-for-granted sources of meaning and identity. They polarize concepts into good versus evil categories, and they demand emotional investments from us as we unconsciously identify ourselves with them," explains Robert V. Kozinets (York University).
Kozinets points to four main ideologies governing our consumption of technology:
Kozinets argues that these ideologies are, by necessity, interconnected and have also permeated almost every realm of human endeavor and imagination.
"What is interesting about these ideologies is that, each one promises us a supreme good--progress, economic growth, the natural, or the pleasure--and yet each promise turns out to be unrealizable. This quest for completion drives us from one ideology to another in a ceaseless quest for consummation," Kozinets writes. He continues: "People are not just consuming technological gadgets and gizmos, they are consuming the ideology of technology itself."
Journal reference: Robert V. Kozinets. "Technology/Ideology: How Ideological Fields Influence Consumers' Technology Narratives" Journal of Consumer Research: April 2008.
Materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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