A Qualitative Study on Secret Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages: The Case of Izmir

Article Information
Journal: Business and Economics Research Journal
Title of Article: A Qualitative Study on Secret Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages: The Case of Izmir
Author(s): Dogan Basaran, Ayla Ozhan Dedeoglu
Volume: 13
Number: 1
Year: 2022
Page: 143-157
ISSN: 2619-9491
DOI Number: 10.20409/berj.2022.366
Secrecy is defined as an act of omission of information from a social environment or inclusion of other information to divert social attention by masking private information. Consumers may need secrecy to protect privacy, conform to the social environment without attracting unwanted attention, and/or avoid discrepancies between actual and ideal, and normative “ought” selves. Secret consumption experiences may differ based on product characteristics and social and cultural context. The present phenomenological study aims to explore the secret consumption of alcoholic beverages, which is described as a demerit good, and was carried out to find out the reasons for confidentiality, how it is experienced in purchasing and consumption practices, and its effects on consumer behavior. Qualitative data analysis was conducted using data collected from a sample of young and educated secret alcohol consumers residing in the province of Izmir. The findings show that participants keep their consumption secret from immediate environment and families. Consumers use various coping strategies that enable protecting their privacy and social identities, while maintaining their consumption at a minimum risk. It has been found that secret alcohol consumption leads to mental preoccupation and reduces satisfaction with consumption.

Keywords: Secret Consumption, Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages, Social Identity, Self-Discrepancy, Preoccupation

JEL Classification: M31, H49

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