The effect of religiosity on luxury goods: The case of Chilean youths

Denni Arli, Luciana de Araujo Gil, Patrick van Esch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Religion has always rejected the concept of materialism and urged people to live in simplicity and moderation. Nonetheless, reality reveals a different phenomenon. Studies on religion and materialism have found inconsistent results. We examine the effect of religion on materialism and affective attitudes towards luxury goods and the mediating effect of materialism on affective attitude towards luxury goods. We propose the idea that many religious people reject the concept of materialism, but they consider luxury goods consumption compatible with their religious beliefs. 355 university students show that youth consumers with high intrinsic religiosity possess an affective attitude towards luxury goods. The results show that consumers perceived materialism and luxury goods as two separate constructs. Religious consumers reject the concept of materialism as an attachment to worldly possessions, but they maintain their emotional affection towards luxury goods. The results have several implications for both business and religious leaders. First, from a business perspective, there are no significant differences between religious and nonreligious youth consumers, especially in their acceptance of luxury goods. Simply put, religious youth consumers love God, but they also love Gucci (i.e., luxury goods). On the other hand, if religious leaders are teaching their congregations to reject materialism, they may need to shift the focus of their teaching from materialism to the role of luxury goods in their lives and how the purchase and ownership of luxury items may not reflect the true values of their beliefs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-190
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Consumer Studies
Volume44
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2020

Keywords

  • Chile
  • extrinsic religiosity
  • intrinsic religiosity
  • luxury goods
  • materialism

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