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Consumer Identity Projects
Consumer Identity Projects
Gretchen LarsenMaurice Patterson

In late capitalism, consumption is the arena where personal and group identities are fought over, contested, precariously put together and licked into shape. The Western consumer readily transfigures into an identity seeker. Whether choosing goods, exploring them, buying them, displaying them, disfiguring them or giving them away, consumers are, above all, frequently presented as thirsting for identity and using commodities to quench this thirst. (Gabriel and Lang 2006: 79)


The use of goods in the service of identity projects is widely acknowledged as a central concern within contemporary consumer culture (Arnould and Thompson 2005; Belk 1988; Bocock 1993). Indeed, it has become something of a truism within studies of consumers to suggest that consumption is the core arena ...

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