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Valuing Things: The Public and Private Meanings of Possessions


  • Richins, Marsha L


Consumers own objects for the value they provide. This article argues that the value of possessions resides in their meanings and further makes a distinction between the public and private meanings of possessions. The nature of these meanings is elaborated, and three studies are described that assess the public and private meanings of the possessions consumers value most. Similarities and differences between the two sorts of meaning are examined, and implications of meaning for the understanding of consumer behavior are discussed. Copyright 1994 by the University of Chicago.

Suggested Citation

  • Richins, Marsha L, 1994. "Valuing Things: The Public and Private Meanings of Possessions," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(3), pages 504-521, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jconrs:v:21:y:1994:i:3:p:504-21
    DOI: 10.1086/209414

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