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Abstract

A lot of interest in the baby-boomer generation, those who were born after World War II, has emerged since their retirement has been accelerated. The retirement of baby-boomers has caused many health, public welfare, social policy and family relationship problems. However, their increased purchasing power has made them more attractive consumers than any other generation, and they have become a fascinating niche market in the depressed economy. This research selected middle-class women of the baby-boomer generation who have had powerful effects on society and have emerged as an attractive niche market, and attempted to understand their lives intensively. Based on research activities, the purpose of this research is to identify baby- boomer generation middle-aged women`s life values. Qualitative research methodology was used to achieve research objectives, and this research aimed to suggest marketing implications to connected industries based on the research results. The research objectives are as follows. 1.understanding the lives of baby-boomer middle-class women who have powerful effects on socio-economic phenomena 2. identifying the life values of baby-boomer middle-class women 3.generating marketing implications based on an understanding of baby-boomer middle-class women`s lives and life values * Visiting Professor, Department of Business Administration, Sejong University ** Doctorate Course, Department of Clothing and Textiles, Seoul National University This research conducted FGIs(focus group interviews), one of the qualitative research methodologies, to figure out baby-boomer middle-class women`s life values intensively and selected 10 women living in Seoul for data collection. The qualitative data of collected FGIs were analyzed with spiral data analysis methodology proposed by Creswell(2007). The most effective factors to influence these middle-class women`s lives powerfully were ``time`` and ``independence``. Their consciousness of the importance of using time affects their life pattern generally, and their independence also impacts greatly on the way they exploit time and on their diverse relationships. They maximized their self-realization and showed long-term partnership with their surrounding circumstances because of those effective factors. Baby-boomer middle-class women`s self-realization was divided into two areas. One was their outside activities and another was perfect management of their physical appearance and home interior. Like the results of this research, their need for social entrance will be reinforced more strongly since their internal and external activities aim for the achievement of self-realization. In addition, this research suggests that baby-boomer middle-class women`s activities are connected with their management of their physical appearance and home interior decorations, and that such management is caused not only by a simple interest in fashion and beauty but also a profound desire for self-realization. On account of their consciousness, which is different from other generations, Korean baby-boomer middle-class women are able to maintain positive partnerships with their surrounding circumstances; however, they also show ambivalent emotions to retain effective partnerships. To overcome those stressful situations, they make greater efforts to keep up their health and youth, and also engage in diverse activities to maintain their mental health. Finally, they generate positive attitudes toward their economic situation and extra time to develop self-realization and pursue happy, youthful and healthy lives. Based on those results, this study suggests the following implications. First, industries targeting the baby-boomer generation should develop innovative products and services which help the baby-boomer generation maximize their efficiency of time since time is one of the most important factors powerfully impacting the baby-boomer generation. They will engage in various activities to fill up their extra time and consume helpful products and services. Second, such industries should supply the baby- boomer generation with opportunities which propose new ways of self-realization since this generation shows a great desire for self-realization because of their self-efficacy. With customized strategies of satisfying their needs, the baby-boomer generation would discover opportunities to utilize their abilities, relationships and aesthetic senses, and industries would develop a niche market. Third, market segmentations which target the baby-boomer generation`s desire to maintain their physical appearance and home interior should be executed since such activities are the main strategies to develop this generation`s self-realization. The baby-boomer generation`s desire to study those areas would be expanded, and those education systems should produce innovative products and services targeting the baby-boomer generation. This implication also offers to government officials new policies related with the baby-boomer generation. This exploratory study utilized qualitative research methodology to understand baby-boomer middle- class women`s lives, and proposed propositions and limitations for further researches. As for the limitations, first, it is hard to generalize the research results so that they may apply to all areas and economic classes of the baby-boomer generation since this research selected only 10 women living in Seoul for the data collection process. To overcome this limitation, extended data collections of subjects from diverse regions and economic classes should be designed. Second, quantitative research should be conducted to supplement the findings with validities. Third, this research focused on only general ideas of the baby-boomer generation`s lives since the range of this study was focused on their overall lives. Therefore, intensive research related to specific areas of their lives should be conducted.

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