Shop ‘til you drop: an empirical examination of theories of and gender differences in consumption

Thumbnail Image
Issue Date
Treas, Jonathan
Koeber, Charles

This study used the 2006 through 2008 American Time Use Survey (ATUS) to empirically examine factors that influenced the consumption of men and women in the United States. Three sets of independent variables were used to construct a model and test hypotheses about whether or not respondents had shopped during the week in which the survey was administered. One set of independent variables was derived from a theory made popular by Juliet Schor (1992), which asserts that additional work in one‟s job results in additional consumption, a cycle of “work and spend.” Another set of independent variables was selected on the basis of theories that argued that exposure to mass media, with its marketing and advertising content, influenced people to consume. The third set of variables related to gender and was derived from theories that explained women‟s higher levels of consumption, relative to men‟s, as a consequence of their gendered work, family, household, and leisure roles. A sample t-test, ANOVA and a Logistic regression were used to analyze the ATUS data. Results indicated that for each hour an individual worked, they were 0.8% less likely to have shopped in the last week, net of all other factors. Exposure to media did not influence whether an individual shopped or not. Being female increased the odds of shopping in the last week by 20.7%. A surprising finding was that women‟s traditional roles (caring for young children and performing household work) not only affected women‟s consumption, but similarly affected a surprisingly large proportion of men in the sample who also performed these traditionally feminine roles

Table of Content
Thesis (M.S.)--Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dept. of Sociology.