Consumer Identity Projects: Examining Consumer Identity Construction in a Contemporary Marketplace Context
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School of Business | Bachelor's thesis
AbstractThis thesis shows how consumers experience the creation and evolution of their identities as personal projects, primarily known in academic literature as identity projects, identity work, or identity construction. The underlying assumptions of consumer researchers studying identity projects are examined. These assumptions include the notions that the identity shifts continuously, that possessions serve as vehicles for self-perception and self-expression, and that the marketplace influences consumer identity projects. This thesis finds that the marketplace structures identity construction through supplying symbols, ideologies, and social references. The varying levels of marketplace dominance and individual agency are explored. The central theories and terminology discussed in this thesis are selected based on the article "Consumer Culture Theory (CCT): Twenty Years of Research" (Arnould & Thompson 2005). More contemporary studies are used to supplement and apply the notions introduced by Arnould and Thompson.
Thesis advisorMikkonen, Ilona
consumer culture, identity projects, identity work, identity construction, consumer power, poststructuralism