Meanings of consumption and abandonment: understanding smoking cessation symbolism



Linha de Pesquisa
Tomada de Decisão, Comportamento e Ética

Maribel Carvalho Suarez



BAR – Brazilian Administration Review, v. 11, n. 2, pp. 210-227. Abstract: In consumption studies, very little attention has been focused on investigating abandonment and, more specifically, its symbolic dimension. The present study aims to investigate how meanings are created and negotiated through the abandonment of cigarettes. This study used a qualitative methodology to collect and analyze the data generated by one-on-one semi-structured in-depth interviews with 15 Brazilian ex-smokers. Results suggest that abandonment of cigarettes can be offered as a connection, gift, or sacrifice that makes relations special and even magical. As regards abandonment, the present study evidences the interactions and movements of positive and negative meanings related to the consumption and non-consumption of a category. The study proposes a framework that highlights the cooling, decontamination, reinforcement and defensive symbolical movements, thus constructing a tool for analyzing abandonment, offering possible paths of intervention for organizations that are interested in this issue.

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