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Inalienable Wealth/Inalienable Possessions

  • By: Carolyn Folkman Curasi
  • In: Encyclopedia of Consumer Culture
  • Edited by: Dale Southerton
  • Subject:Sociology of Consumption, Consumer Psychology, Consumer Culture

Inalienable wealth, or inalienable possessions, according to Carolyn Folkman Curasi, Linda L. Price, and Eric J. Arnould, refers to a particular category of possessions: those items that should not be given away or sold but that are instead maintained from generation to generation, within the tight boundaries of their owning family, clan, or group. Objects in this special category of possessions remain inalienably attached to their original owner, even long after the object has been transferred from that individual. Inalienable possessions are maintained with the clear intention of passing the object forward within that family or owning group for perpetuity. The key value of inalienable wealth is its ability to define the identity of the group in a historical sense, suggests Annette B. Weiner. These ...

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