The Morality of the Hummer


Ever wonder what drives people to buy Hummers? Is there a certain philosophy correlated with Hummer buyers? A Germany study sought to see if so and produced an article in the Journal for Consumer Research with their findings entitled, "Consumer Identity Work as a Moral Protagonism: How Myth and Ideology Animate a Brand-Mediated Moral Conflict". The researchers found that the anti-hummer movement had a clear moral agenda behind their disdain, and wondered if the pro-hummer buyers had a likewise moral imperative.

They found that, according to

Americans who believe in rugged individualism and the frontier myth see an H2 as John Wayne on wheels. “As we studied American Hummer owners and their ideological beliefs, we found that they consider Hummer driving a highly moral consumption choice,” the authors wrote. “For Hummer owners it is possible to claim the moral high ground.”

Researchers Marius Luedicke, Craig Thompson, and Markus Giesler interviewed 20 “U.S.-born and raised” Hummer owners who said their vehicles are rolling representations of their beliefs, the same way that environmentalists might be more likely to choose a Prius or Starbucks-haters might be proud to sit at an independent coffee shop...

“Our analysis of the underlying American identity discourses revealed that being under siege by (moral) critics is an historically established feature of being an American,” the authors wrote. “The moralistic critique of their consumption choices readily inspired Hummer owners to adopt the role of the moral protagonist who defends American national ideals.”

Oh if a similiar study were to be conducted in Kuwait on Hummer users here. Why stop there? We should get a cross-section of hummer users everywhere in the world.

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