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Luxury has been neglected especially by the social theory and this has therefore made the concept to become a human concept due to its high economic status. The concept of luxury depends on both the primary and secondary needs. However, luxury is considered useless due to fact that is associated with realm of desires and not elementary needs. Therefore, luxury has been stigmatized by the demonstrations and use of luxury. Luxury is also vital in as it is quite essential as a necessary in the society. More so, the concept has other forms such as the organizational form and the emotional form.
Luxury has been criticized by several people using several theories and aspects. For instance, Veblen, an American sociologist describes luxury as a status symbol that belongs to the upper class and the industrious class can only afford and consume what is necessary for their consumption. Therefore, luxuries in life belong to leisure class. Furthermore, luxuries have been studied by several scholars who have opined that luxuries should be related to the needs-want concept. These have limited the definition of luxury as an economic concept which should be expended to include other aspects such as the organization concept in a capitalistic state and the social concept of luxury.
Luxury can be defined in both narrow and broad ways in relation to consumer society. The producers of the luxuries goods identify and demarcate the economic territory they belong. For instance, the production of products like Cartier and Rolls Royce has its own economic niche. The products cross the product boundary and instead unite enterprises that lead to luxury products. These products are described as scarce, have high quality and they have high value. The luxury products are scarce in the sense that they are distributed in a selective manner and they are produced in small quantity. The status of the product depends on large scale production which reduces the price. The target groups of such products perceive and feel that they belong to a selective group which can afford the product. More so, scarcity is not just a luxurious aspect but also sufficient characteristic. In addition, high quality gives a luxurious product an image and a long life span.
Furthermore, the broader definition of luxury in the social context has incorporated aspects such as value and scarcity which defines the scope of luxury. Luxury is defined as narrow as the product is used within a narrow range of given culture. This implies that the products belong to a recognized cultural luxury group called the luxury segment. However, these ranges of definition do not encompass all the available luxury products. More so, the luxury defined in this segment does not state the specific impoverished group that benefits from group of products. Thus, the narrow definition of luxury does not explicate the significance that is attached to luxury.
The objects in life can be given different meanings by the value that people assign them in a given context. The objects can be referred to as agencies. More so, luxury objects posses social life where meaning is either removed or assigned to objects. Meaning attached to objects can be depicted in various ways. This has therefore led to the four distinct categories of luxury by Baudrillard. These include: economic logic of exchanging, use value category, symbolic exchange and sign value category.
In other social stratification of luxury goods, extends the sign value concept. Most objects gain additional value on exchange value. This leads to the need to distinguish between luxury sign value with the other categories of sign value. This implies that objects get different meanings in varied context. Therefore, luxury products should have distinct qualities. In addition, coding of an object as luxury product does not assign the object the permit as a luxury product. This is because some objects can easily be termed as luxurious without any promotion.
In the society, people are either associated with the class of life they lead. For instance, in the society, people can either live at a lower or a higher level. The luxury goods are characterized by context. The sign value that is attached to a product is distinguished during the actual distinction process. More so, for the product to be distinct there has to be a serious form of communication. The communication aspect is quite vital as it clarifies those individuals who are lower than the actual group should have relevant information about the codes of the specific product. In addition, the receiver and the sender of the luxury good should be familiar with the significance of the product.
In life, the luxury product is believed to target services and products that have dominant wealth. These luxury consumers care less about the price and spend most of their time and money on clothes. They purchase opulence products and leave out the necessary items. Prestige and luxury have therefore commended the unwavering and illogical loyalty of customers. For instance, luxurious products like Chanel have been characterized by a certain social class in the society.
Luxury goods are associated with wants and desires. The luxury goods are also linked to basic human needs where the sensory and the body would like to posses the experience. This is due to the fact that desires are built on the aspects f human needs. Therefore, luxurious goods are highly desired and have a positive please on the products. It therefore implies that luxuries are not associated with pain. In addition, luxury goods can be analyzed into four broad categories of universal needs for the purpose of leisure, clothing, sustenance and shelter. This therefore bounds pressure on the emotional and material aspects of luxury.
In another category of luxury needs, Berry complicates the notion of luxury needs by the political, instrumental and social needs categories. These categories fail to distinguish between needs and desires. For instance, the instrumental needs have a specific purpose and volition. On the other hand, the basic needs are considered unintentional. More so, a political need refers to a product that is vital for maintaining its position in the society. This can include aspects such as hospitality in the attainment of luxurious goods. In the social context therefore, one aspect that is a luxury in one society can be a basic need in the other society.
Luxury has the tendency to posses several meanings due to its dynamic nature. Goods and services are continues in the definition as they are driven by human desires. Luxuries are classified as social needs after they have become common place. This is referred to as a transience of luxury. Thus, luxury has been criticized based on the moral aspects of the society.
The traditional models of the consumer behaviors have been linked to the hierarchy of effects where the cognitive activity is always followed by the emotional evaluation attitudes that lead to behavior. Therefore, emotion comes from the cognition process. Furthermore, emotions lead to the articulation of certain behaviors. The low involvement in the purchasing process leads to the spontaneous and affect referral attitudes. This is what comes from the cognitive aspects that were previously stored in the memory. Emotion therefore is quite vital in determining the preferences and choice during purchase of vital items. Emotion can also be defined as an inescapable and judgmental aspect in the purchasing of products. Thus, emotion implicates the real person or it implicates the self. More so, the main issue in this context relates to the long term behavior that one engages in the impulse purchase of products. It also implies that not all decisions in the brain is controlled by the cognitive processing. Some decisions can be reached at by meditating through the unconscious emotional responses. This relates to the luxury purchases. Some people may be involved in the luxurious pending or products due to the reaction from their environment or due to the ability to think that the product is necessary. More so, extra ordinary experience of a product can be vital in describing the special class of the hedonic consumption that can be intrinsically enjoyed and requires high emotional intensity. In the recent studies, the previous notions about luxurious products with aspects like materialism and capitalism has been made available in the society through equal distribution and emergence of industries all over the world.
Luxury has therefore experienced several changes and transformations. It has transformed from the old to the new luxury. The new luxuries have several traits in common. The new form of luxury is therefore efficient to satisfy all the human beliefs and wants. The luxury industry has also risen in the recent past to give each and every person a chance to explore the various luxurious products. It has also changed from private industries to privately owned industries. Thus, luxury has a wider scope of study in terms of the social, organization and the emotional aspects in life. A luxury has also received varied criticism from different eras and regions. They have also analyzed luxuries based on the social classes in the society.