THE CONSPICUOUS CONSUMPTION PHENOMENON IN EGYPT: Significance of the Study

It is embodied in the rarity of these studies and researches that handled the conspicuous consumption phenomenon in Egypt from the social and economic aspects.

Problem of the Study: consumption is considered as one of the main variables in the national economy as it is closely related to other economic variables such as production, saving, and investment. Consequently, consumption planning and rationalization represent a strong momentum for the national economy. Under the increasingly growing of the economic globalization phenomenon, the spread of multi-national companies with marketing and promoting their products via different media in Egypt, the conspicuous consumption phenomenon has increased for the purpose of boasting and showing as a measure the socio-economic status prominence. Its shades have been extended to include the low-income groups after it was restricted to certain social class. The low-income groups were forced, therefore, to look for illegal and fast ways of earning to cope with different patterns of this phenomenon. The conspicuous consumption phenomenon has increased in Egypt with the beginning of implementing the economic opening policy in Egypt in the early 1970s (Society of consumption and imitation). It leads to the increase of economic inflation rates and the increase of sharp corruption and illegal earning in an attempt to look for fast richness and realize the social prestige and dominance.

Subsequently, the Egyptian economy has faced several problems. The most important of them are the increase of importing, inflation, unemployment and prices rates, balance of payment deficit and the decline of economic growth rates.

The Research Objectives: the research aims to identify the concept of conspicuous consumption phenomenon at he social and economic aspects and its different fields. It aims as well to indicate the effective factors of the increasing tendency towards the conspicuous consumption phenomenon in Egypt, and the subsequent negative economic effects of this phenomenon. Then, it provides suitable recommendations to curb this phenomenon exacerbation in the future.

Research Method: the research has relied on the quantitative descriptive analytical technique besides the use of the social random-sampling survey technique through the design of a questionnaire form comprised 300 individuals from Cairo and Giza provinces. The sampling represents high-social classes in the areas of (Zamalek, Mohandiseen) by (200) questionnaire forms, intermediate areas (Al-Haram) and low-income groups (Al-Massara, Helwan) by (50) questionnaire forms for each area. The aim is to identify the conspicuous consumption phenomenon in Egypt during the period from first January 2013 till May 2013. The study has used certain statistical techniques to analyze the collected data from the investigated sample.

The Research Hypotheses: the research is based on the following hypotheses

• The non-conformity of the supply and demand theory with that of conspicuous consumption phenomenon.

• The religious, media, social, cultural, social and economic factors have different effects on the conspicuous consumption pattern in Egypt.

• The aspects of house, modern furniture, car brand, possession of jewelry and world-known brands clothes are among the front priorities of conspicuous goods in Egypt.

• Installment selling, income and importing increase, selling taxation decrease and customs are factors leading to the increase of conspicuous consumption in Egypt.

Plan of the Study: The research is divided into four parts

First: Review of the theoretical framework of the concept of the conspicuous consumption phenomenon.

Second: Results analysis of the primary data of the investigated sampling in Egypt.

Third: Results analysis of the questionnaire of the conspicuous consumption in Egypt.

Fourth: Research findings and recommendations.