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Consumers and their transformation tales

  • Pilar Rojas Gaviria

Inspired by an on-going empirical research on consumers and their tales about disruptive events they have faced in their life, this paper illustrates the value of using interpretative hermeneutics for analyzing consumption during these transformations. Such disruptive events are for instance: Divorce, death of beloved ones, marriage of convenience, or expatriation. In these kinds of contexts, a hermeneutical analysis allows researchers to study punctual consumption occurrences (buying, consuming or dispossessing) as being an expression of a personal narrative re-building that facilitates a deeper understanding of underlying motives. Investigating life disruptive events and their consequences on consumption behaviors appears to be particularly important in contemporary societies, where people are increasingly facing new endings and new beginnings during life, making reconstruction and adaptation a necessary process.

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Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series Working Papers CEB with number 08-039.RS.

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Length: 16 p.
Date of creation: Dec 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published by: Université Libre de Bruxelles, Solvay Business School, Centre Emile Bernheim (CEB)
Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:08-039
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  1. Hirschman, Elizabeth C, 1992. " The Consciousness of Addiction: Toward a General Theory of Compulsive Consumption," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 155-79, September.
  2. Hudson, Laurel Anderson & Ozanne, Julie L, 1988. " Alternative Ways of Seeking Knowledge in Consumer Research," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(4), pages 508-21, March.
  3. Schouten, John W, 1991. " Selves in Transition: Symbolic Consumption in Personal Rites of Passage and Identity Reconstruction," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages 412-25, March.
  4. Aaron C. Ahuvia, 2005. "Beyond the Extended Self: Loved Objects and Consumers' Identity Narratives," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(1), pages 171-184, 06.
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