Essay on Belk - the Extended Self Concept

1840 Words Oct 30th, 2012 8 Pages
Consumer Behaviour – WEEK 6
The self

« Possessions and the Extended self »

Russell W. Belk

To understand consumer behaviour we need to understand the meanings that consumers attached to possession. Possessions are part of ourselves.

This aim of the article: examine the relationship between possessions and sense of self

1. Evidence (that possessions are an important component of sense of self)

Possessions in Self-Perception Research
The extended = external objects, personal possessions, persons, places, and group possession, body parts, vital organs... (which as “me” and also which as “mine”).

McClelland (1951): external objects = part of self when we are able to exercise power or control over them. The greater
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* Old Age
- Happier with mementos/ remembrances: Postretirement-age persons
- They are past oriented
- Possessions most treasured: photographs, athletic trophies, and mementos. Symbolize others
- Selves to be extended beyond deaths: (Lifton 1973) Many attempting through: their children
- The belief in a life after death someone's works identification with nature experiential transcendence

Possessions and the Sense of Past
- Possessions: convenient means of storing the memories and feelings that attach our sense of past.
The older person scans the past for evidence that he once was competent, once was loved, once commanded respect. A gift= evidence that someone loved you
- Handcrafted item preferred to the mass-produced item: longer to create i.e., more of others' selves were invested in it. Antiques are rare and potentially serve as symbols
Fascination with things also involves nostalgia
As we seek to extend our selves by incorporating or owning certain objects, we may still seek the sympathetic magic (contagion) of possessions that retain a part of the extended self of valued others.

3. Processes of self-extension Ways of incorporating possessions into the extended self
Sartre: 3 ways that we can learn to regard an object as part of a self:
- Control/mastery: appropriating or controlling an object for personal use, giving possession to others (a special form of

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