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Beyond the Extended Self: Loved Objects and Consumers' Identity Narratives


  • Aaron C. Ahuvia


This article investigates the possessions and activities that consumers love and their role in the construction of a coherent identity narrative. In the face of social forces pushing toward identity fragmentation, interviews reveal three different strategies, labeled "demarcating," "compromising," and "synthesizing" solutions, for creating a coherent self-narrative. Findings are compared to Belk's "Possessions and the Extended Self." Most claims from Belk are supported, but the notion of a core versus extended self is critiqued as a potentially confusing metaphor. The roles of loved objects and activities in structuring social relationships and in consumer well-being are also explored. (c) 2005 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc..

Suggested Citation

  • Aaron C. Ahuvia, 2005. "Beyond the Extended Self: Loved Objects and Consumers' Identity Narratives," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(1), pages 171-184, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jconrs:v:32:y:2005:i:1:p:171-184

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