Consumption and the self concept
Media and Cultural Studies Centre, University of Queensland.
Faculty of Business and Public Management
School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure
This article examines the concept of self from the perspective of the self as manifest and reflected in consumption decisions. Within the consumer behaviour literature there is general acceptance for a high degree of autonomy in individuals' self-related consumption decisions. The assumption is that we can choose the type of person we want to be, and purchase, within income limits, the appropriate "props" to assist in achieving our goal. I argue that this view is simplistic and fails to appreciate the extent to which culture influences individuals' perceptions of the desirability of different "ways to be" and the objects that are considered appropriate to communicate specific personal attributes.