Conceptualizing experiential luxury in palliative care: Pathographies of liminal space, cathedral, and community

Lynn Sudbury-Riley*, Philippa Hunter-Jones, Ahmed Al-Abdin, Daniel Lewin, Rachel Spence

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Conceptualizations of luxury usually derive from individuals who are agentic and empowered. Building upon the consumer-centered experiential movement, this paper deviates from researching the typical, listening instead to consumer narratives associated with luxury in contexts where agency is transitioning. We revisit notions of sacred and profane within the liminal space of palliative and end-of-life care. Adopting purposeful sampling, and agency enhancing storytelling, pathographies in particular, consumption experiences are narrated by patients, families, and bereaved users (n = 140) of multiple hospices (n = 5) in the UK. Findings shift the evolving consumer centric conceptualization of luxury into conceptions of liminal space, place (hospices as cathedrals), and people (community). A psychosocial narrative emerges which conceptualizes experiences as lived, personalized, integrated, familiar, transformational, hedonic, eudaimonic, and (dis)connected. Our discussion extends notions of the sacred and profane into the mundane and illustrates the ways in which those navigating a liminal space encounter unexpected yet astonishing luxury experiences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)446-457
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Business Research
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Health
  • Hospices
  • Mundane
  • Profane
  • Sacred
  • Storytelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing

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