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The Storied Life of Singularized Objects: Forces of Agency and Network Transformation

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  • Amber M. Epp
  • Linda L. Price
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    Abstract

    Our study contributes to understanding the role of material culture in families. Findings from a longitudinal case study extend Kopytoff's theory of singularization by explaining what occurs between the singularization of a focal object and its recommodification. We uncover processes that move an already singularized object in and out of a network of practices, objects, and spaces; identify forces that constrain and empower a singularized object's agency within that network; and demonstrate network transformations that result from the focal object's movement. This extension explains some paradoxical findings in consumer research: how objects are granted agency even while displaced, when irreplaceable objects can be replaced, and why families sometimes displace central identity practices. (c) 2009 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc..

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    File URL: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/pdf/10.1086/603547
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Consumer Research.

    Volume (Year): 36 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 5 (02)
    Pages: 820-837

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    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jconrs:v:36:y:2010:i:5:p:820-837

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    Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JCR/

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    Cited by:
    1. Karanika, Katerina & Hogg, Margaret K., 2013. "Trajectories across the lifespan of possession-self relationships," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(7), pages 910-916.

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