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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Pilar Rojas Gaviria, 2008. "Consumers and their transformation tales," Working Papers CEB 08-039.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:08-039

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hudson, Laurel Anderson & Ozanne, Julie L, 1988. " Alternative Ways of Seeking Knowledge in Consumer Research," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(4), pages 508-521, March.
    2. 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.
    3. Thompson, Craig J & Pollio, Howard R & Locander, William B, 1994. " The Spoken and the Unspoken: A Hermeneutic Approach to Understanding the Cultural Viewpoints That Underlie Consumers' Expressed Meanings," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(3), pages 432-452, December.
    4. Schouten, John W, 1991. " Selves in Transition: Symbolic Consumption in Personal Rites of Passage and Identity Reconstruction," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(4), pages 412-425, March.
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    More about this item


    Consumer transformation; narrative identity; symbolic consumption and interpretative hermeneutics;

    JEL classification:

    • M31 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Marketing

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