Older consumers' disposition of special possessions

Linda L Price, Eric J. Arnould, Carolyn Folkman Curasi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

259 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article explores precipitating events, emotions, and decisions associated with older consumers' disposition of special possessions. Findings are based on analyses of semistructured interviews with 80 older consumers, complemented by depth interviews with seven informants. Cherished possessions and their disposition play a significant role in older consumers' reminiscence and life review. Concerns about disposition of special possessions involve strong and ambivalent emotions. Older consumers voice concern over avoiding intrafamilial conflict, reducing uncertainty, and exercising control over the future life of special possessions. We emphasize the storied nature of the meanings consumers attach to their cherished possessions and the way in which these storied meanings are bundled with life review and disposition concerns. Many older consumers attempt to control meanings transferred with cherished possessions. They seek to pass on personal and familial legacies, achieve symbolic immortality, insure a good home for special objects, and/or influence the future lives of others. We show that there is a porous boundary between ownership and disposition of cherished possessions. And to our knowledge this is the first research to identify tactics and heuristics employed to select recipients for special possessions, time transfers, and effect these transfers. We suggest that future research could explore individual differences in disposition behaviors, the use of possessions by older consumers as external mnemonic props, disposition decision theory, cultural differences in disposition behaviors, or the role of special possessions in the creation of familial legacies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-201
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Volume27
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2000
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

possession
disposition
emotion
Older consumers
Disposition
Possession
reminiscence
decision theory
interview
cultural difference
tactics
heuristics
recipient
uncertainty
event

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing
  • Economics and Econometrics

Cite this

Price, L. L., Arnould, E. J., & Curasi, C. F. (2000). Older consumers' disposition of special possessions. Journal of Consumer Research, 27(2), 179-201.

Older consumers' disposition of special possessions. / Price, Linda L; Arnould, Eric J.; Curasi, Carolyn Folkman.

In: Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 27, No. 2, 09.2000, p. 179-201.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Price, LL, Arnould, EJ & Curasi, CF 2000, 'Older consumers' disposition of special possessions', Journal of Consumer Research, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 179-201.
Price, Linda L ; Arnould, Eric J. ; Curasi, Carolyn Folkman. / Older consumers' disposition of special possessions. In: Journal of Consumer Research. 2000 ; Vol. 27, No. 2. pp. 179-201.
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