Rethinking prices during an economic crisis: Calculation as a new mode of consumer behaviour in Russia
Using a qualitative approach, this study explores Russians’ reactions to increases in consumer prices caused by the current economic crisis. The financial turbulence has reinforced doubts about the fairness of market prices and the overall legitimacy of the market order in Russia. Suspicion and cynicism about the state and seller behavior become the main mode of price perception, encouraging proactive, calculating pricing behavior. Respondents’ narratives reveal that proactive pricing behavior is considered to be a sign of social competence, financial independence, and high cognitive capacity. Proactive pricing behavior allows consumers to use their purchasing power for resistance to market injustice and social insecurity and to increase personal sustainability.