Browsing by Author "Avikainen, Sari"

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  • Avikainen, Sari (Helsingfors universitet, 2010)
    In my study I examine Kuinoma lending service users' experiences and views on renting and owning using qualitative research method. I have collected the data by interviewing fourteen users of the service. The interviews were personal interviews that followed the form of a theme interview. In analyzing the data I use in addition to themes the research literature dealing with renting, the functional and symbolic scope of goods, and consumer ethos. In the themes of my study I discuss the reasons, necessities, and obstacles for renting, the technical qualities and symbolic meanings of the goods, and the views of the users concerning the attitudes of different age groups towards renting and owning. The reasons for renting are occasional and temporary need, saving space and money, ecological reasons, and the opportunity to use and test goods without the troubles of ownership. Willingness to rent goods grows in proportion to how well the cost of renting and the quality and location of the goods match the needs of the user. Ecological reasons can also encourage renting. Renting has to be easy enough for it to become a realistic alternative for buying and owning, the effort and activeness needed may become an obstacle for renting. However, above all, a change in attitudes and habits is required for the spreading of renting culture. In my study, the technical qualities and symbolic meanings of the goods determine the reasons for owning. The technical qualities include the physical and functional qualities of the goods, the questions relating to hygiene, and the utilization rate of the goods. These factors define what is considered necessary to own. Even if the technical properties of an item make it suitable for renting, people don’t necessarily want to rent it out. A personal relationship may be formed towards one’s possessions, in which case the items are seen too meaningful to be placed for a rent. Items may, for example, remind the owner of certain events, places or people, or become otherwise meaningful. The effect of age on the attitudes towards renting and owning does not seem to be unambiguous. Owning is in most cases connected to the consumption behavior of the older age group and renting to the younger. Some of the interviewees consider young people also materialistic. In connection to the older age group, owning is associated to independency, safety, achievement and status as well as the experiences from the war and times of economic depression. The younger people’s positive attitude towards renting is explained with environmental consciousness. Other factors, such as attitudes and values, are also seen affecting the attitudes towards renting and owning.