"You know, what is overspending" : working with compulsive buying : a critical discursive account

Parnes, Harriette Sophie (2019) "You know, what is overspending" : working with compulsive buying : a critical discursive account. Doctoral thesis, London Metropolitan University.

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Abstract / Description

There is increasing research into compulsive buying (CB), much of which has focussed on its aetiology, epidemiology and treatments from a positivistic and quantitative viewpoint. Reviewing the extant literature yielded conflicting discourses over its similarities to other substance and behavioural addictions, and its absence from the DSM-5’s ‘behavioural addictions’ section.

Opposing discourses of addiction may be taken up by therapists and can serve to both empower and victimise addicts and are thus thought to effect therapy. Reports suggest increasing prevalence of CB and social and cultural factors play a significant role in its aetiology and how it is perceived yet no research was found to date that investigated therapists’ constructions of CB. This research sought to address this gap.

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six therapists who had worked with clients who talked about issues with CB. The transcripts were analysed using critical discursive psychology, a branch of Discourse Analysis.

Four main discourses were elicited from the data: ‘it’s self medicating’, ‘how should I work with this?’, ‘we must all shop but not too much’ and ‘is it a problem?’ The interpretative repertoires, subject positions and ideological dilemmas employed within these discourses were considered in relation to the extant literature and found to highlight the many tensions that surround this topic for therapists, particularly around addiction and culture. Implications for clinical practice and future research as well as limitations were outlined.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: compulsive buying (CB); behavioural addictions
Subjects: 600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
Department: School of Social Sciences (to June 2021)
School of Social Sciences and Professions
Depositing User: Mary Burslem
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2019 15:50
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2019 15:50
URI: https://repository.londonmet.ac.uk/id/eprint/5210


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