Finland’s ranking as the happiest, and all the Nordic countries joining the top 10 ranked happiest countries in the world in the World Happiness Report, invites a captivating question: How do the Nordic consumers’ consumption patterns relate to their renowned sense of happiness and perception of a ‘good life’?
Set to be completed by December 2026, this doctoral thesis aims to dig into this question. It will explore how the perception of a good life is shaped by mass media and fueled by consumer culture. Leveraging the theoretical framework of Consumer Culture Theory it will dive into how these external forces guide the way people consume, and shed light on what constitutes a meaningful and fulfilling life in a world where consumption is often seen as both a means to an end and an end in itself. The purpose of this thesis is to enhance the theoretical and empirical understanding of the impact consumer culture has on the perception of the ‘good life’ and the associated consumption behavior. The following research questions will guide the study:
How is the ‘good life’ viewed in consumer culture?
What role does mass media play in this view?
How does the search for happiness alter our shopping behavior?
The novelty of this thesis lies in its targeted focus on the Nordics, the happiest region on Earth. It offers a fresh perspective on consumer behavior and happiness, the effects of mass media on consumption, and the dynamic between global consumer culture and happiness. Furthermore, this research carries substantial societal importance, offering insights into the potential for consumer culture to impact well-being, and holds significant business relevance, as it could guide companies in creating strategies that align with genuine consumer contentment. The findings of this thesis, therefore, have the potential to inform both policy-making and marketing practices, emphasizing sustainable consumption that contributes to the holistic happiness of society.
Jannica Nyman, now a doctoral researcher, has previously made a mark in the tech world, assuming marketing leadership roles within high growth companies, including key positions at Klarna, Slush and Nosto. With a shift to academia, Nyman established N&Co, a marketing consultancy, and was accepted to the Turku University doctoral program in early 2023. This new chapter combines Nyman’s extensive practical experience with a scholarly pursuit, poised to offer unique insights into consumer trends and behaviors.