Social constructions of value: considerations for the context of festival participation.

This source preferred by Ivana Rihova

Authors: Rihova, I., Buhalis, D., Moital, M. and Gouthro, M.-B.

Editors: Mykletun, R.J.

Start date: 13 June 2012

Pages: 107-118

Publisher: University of Stavanger

Place of Publication: Stavanger

ISBN: 978-82-7644-499-5

What is value, how and where does it exist in a festival setting? There are extensive studies and perspectives that could address this question in a cohesive manner. Historically, in a services management context, the presence of customer value or value for the customer has been captured in consumer behaviour literature as judgement perception of the potential economic, functional and psychological benefits customers attribute to a marketer's offering (the ‘features-and-benefits’ approach). However, what this paper attempts to do is reflect on how value might be constructed or ‘co-created' in the context of participants’ social experiences in festival settings. In so doing, a more holistic appreciation into the significance of these social experiences within festival participation is illuminated, permitting deeper insight into the appeal of attending multi-day festivals. Discussions in traditional market research literature therefore benefits from recognising the unique conditions by which value is co-created in social situations, guided by specific social rules and systems. Such a view is further reflected upon in this paper by proposing the adoption of the ‘value-in-social-experience’ perspective embedded in ethnographic principles and framed within a social constructionist epistemology. In so doing, this is a move away from highly individualistic, subjectivist customer-perceived value approaches through to a more holistic representation by which participants gain a valuable social experience merely by being in the company of others, and in its various contexts e.g. conversational, chilling out, camping, singing. More is therefore learned about what 'value behaviours’ and practices customers engage in when they themselves are immersed in the company of other people in festival settings, and how festivals can benefit from such perspective.

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