Enchantment and perpetual desire: Theorizing disenchanted enchantment and technology adoption

Russell Belk, Henri Weijo, Robert V. Kozinets

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Abstract

Dominant perspectives on technology adoption and consumption tend to be cognitive, instrumental, and individualistic. We offer a desire-centered, future-oriented, and culturally grounded alternative model called the Disenchanted Enchantment Model (DEM). Drawing on historical evidence and revised interpretations of theories of enchantment and disenchantment by Weber and Saler, we show that desire is at the heart of technology consumption?s enchantments, and how its fulfilment is temporary, skeptical, and ironic. We provide an important cultural counterbalance to models such as the Technology Acceptance Model, which replace wonder with reason. Instead we theorize the process that drives contemporary technology adoption as centering on desirous senses of wonderment and anticipation. We offer current and recent examples of the DEM process and discuss the implications this model holds for a new understanding of technology, consumption, desire, and broader consumer culture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-52
JournalMarketing Theory
Volume21
Issue number1
Early online date1 Oct 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Consumer desire
  • diffusion of innovations
  • disenchantment
  • enchantment
  • skepticism
  • technology adoption
  • wonder

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