Marketization, Nostalgia, And Social Connectedness: An Exploratory Study In Eastern Germany

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Pia A. Albinsson PhD, Associate Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to uncover how East Germans reacted to product shortages following product abundance immediately after reunification and over time. The authors conduct in-depth interviews to document the stories of the individuals during this time period. Our data analysis reveals that East Germans experienced surprising trade-offs during this transition period. On the one hand, they now had access to an abundance of products. But on the other hand, something unexpected was lost. East Germans no longer needed extensive social networks to obtain products and services. As a result, the importance of maintaining social networks decreased leading to a lack of social connectedness and security. As their disenchantment with the new market system grew, Ostalgie - a form of nostalgia indigenous to the region characterized by a deep longing for the past - emerged. This seems to indicate that societies based on materialism can have unforeseen consequences of feelings of insecurity. Business can use these results to fundamentally reconsider their role in the well-being of consumers. As a result, marketers that focus on creating opportunities for social connection will satisfy a fundamental human need leading to more successful business models.

Additional Information

Wolf, M., Kopf, D., and Albinsson, P. (2016). "Marketization, Nostalgia, And Social Connectedness: An Exploratory Study In Eastern Germany." Global Journal of Business Research, Vol. 10, No. 2, 2016, pp. 13-25. Publisher version of record available at:
Language: English
Date: 2016
Marketing, Brand, Brand Preference, Transition Economies

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