Essay Belk - the Extended Self Concept

Words: 1846
Pages: 8

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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Maintain multiple level of self
4 Levels of self: * Individual (even if we are in a group) * Family (house is the symbolic for family) * Community * Group
The share of symbolic meaning for different goods among the collectivities, group members, or members in the family… show the relationship
Ownership: house, car, land… is also a part of extended self
Life style: clothes, accent, grooming, and jewellery express the person belongs to which group

4. Special cases of Extended self collections

Cultivation of a collection is a purposeful self-defining act.
Collection is to be seen as more a part of one’s self than are isolated consumption items because of the purposefulness and the commitment of time and energy spent in developing a collection.