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Criminality, consumption and the counterfeiting of fashion goods : a consumer perspective

Large, Joanna Suzanne (2011) Criminality, consumption and the counterfeiting of fashion goods : a consumer perspective. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

The past decade has seen heightened attention towards the potentially harmful consequences of intellectual property crime. In particular, there are concerns about the damage to industry and the global economy, alongside increasing recognition of links with organised crime and terrorism. As a result, a plethora of policy initiatives have sought to reduce the problem of counterfeiting and piracy, of which the underlying principle is consumer responsibility. However, this thesis argues that this approach is based on a number of assumptions. These are prominent when the specific example of fashion counterfeiting is examined. Therefore, the aim of this thesis is to explore consumers' perceptions about fashion counterfeiting and how they relate to their fashion purchasing and assumptions underpinning anti-counterfeiting policy. The research seeks to contextualise fashion counterfeiting within the broader literature about consumption and fashion and add to criminological literature. This is achieved by taking an interdisciplinary consumer-based approach which involved the completion of 801 questionnaires and conducting 27 semi-structured interviews and 2 focus groups. The findings support recent existing research findings that consumers of counterfeit fashion goods cannot be distinguished by their demographic characteristics. Instead, consumers' preferences about fashion, as well as the situation, context and availability are major factors related to the propensity to purchase fashion counterfeits. Techniques of neutralisation and notably the denial of harm can be clearly identified in consumer justifications for purchasing counterfeits. This has clear consequences for consumer perceptions about whether counterfeiting is a 'real crime' and inevitably, responses to counterfeiting. In particular, the notion that consumers will change their behaviour through being educated about the 'dangers of buying fakes' is problematic, as is the suggestion that criminalising the consumption of counterfeits could be a solution. Therefore, these findings demonstrate fundamental concerns about current assumptions underpinning anti-counterfeiting policy.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Law (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.545729
Depositing User: Ethos Import
Date Deposited: 24 Aug 2018 13:13
Last Modified: 24 Aug 2018 13:13
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/21118

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