Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A question of self-image

The existence of a link between a person’s self-image and the image of the vehicle she buys, analyzed in a previous column, shows that the Hummer’s militaristic and aggressive personality fits the image the buyer of this vehicle wants to project. In fact, research conducted by Keith Bradsher at Honda demonstrates that SUV buyers are more concerned about their image in the eyes of others than by practical considerations, something confirmed by Thomas Elliot, executive vice president of Honda’s North American automobile sector and Fred J. Schaafsma, GM’s Senior Engineer for the initial planning stages of new vehicles (K. Bradsher, High and Mighty, SUVs – The world’s most dangerous vehicles and how they got that way, New York, Public Affairs, 2002, p. 103).

However, the warrior image of the Hummer inevitably influences the buyer’s behaviour, especially because, as I said in an earlier column, in some people's instinct prevails over reason and emotions, and that they suffer from a lack of confidence, are selfish and have little concern for others, as demonstrated in studies mentioned by Bradsher. The resulting road domineering, even intimidating, sometimes belligerent, driving behaviour feeds the fear of other drivers and helps create a detestable image of the Hummer. Ultimately, therefore, the reasons why some like the Hummer and other dislike it are the same; the latter’s hatred is nothing but the love of the first thwarted by something. That «something» is the driver’s self-image, constructed by the Hummer, unacceptable to those who do not like this vehicle.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Irresponsible Consumption

On Thursday, November 29, I am pleased to be the guest speaker of the « Groupe de recherche en droit international et comparé de la consommation (Gredicc) » (Research Group on International and Comparative Law of consumption). The theme of my conference is « Modes de consommation irresponsables: Comment en est-on arrivé là? » (Irresponsible consumption: How did we get to this point?)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Interview on RDI live

This morning I had the pleasure of being Louis Lemieux’s guest on « RDI en direct (weekend) » (RDI live week-end edition); it can be viewed on the programme’s website.

We have chatted about my recent book « Consommation et luxe – La voie de l’excès et de l’illusion » (Consumption and luxury – The path of excess and illusion) and about current events reported in three magazines, amongst which a special on perfumes in ELLE Québec, the Airbus 380 in a special issue of Science & Vie and in cell phone packages in Protégez-vous.

My next column will focus on the link between a vehicle and self-image; it will be published Tuesday, November 27.

See you then on my blog.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Publication of Consumption and luxury

Monopolized by the publication of my book, « Consommation et luxe – La voie de l’excès et de l’illusion » (Consumption and luxury – The path of excess and illusion), planned in the coming days, I will not publish chronicles in the next few weeks; I shall resume in December. To receive word of my chronicles’ resumption, I invite you to subscribe to the RSS feed (http://benoit-consumption.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default).

If you want to meet me, come to the « Salon du livre de Montréal » (Montreal Book Fair); I will be at the Dimedia/Liber booth (# 531-532) Friday, November 16 from 6 pm to 7 pm and Saturday, November 17 from 3 pm to 4 pm . It will be a pleasure for me to meet you.