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