The recontextualization of special possessions in time, space and the social environment: The case of tourist souvenirs.

Student thesis: Doc typesDoctor of Economics and Business Management

Abstract

Tourist souvenirs are a typical example of special possessions that may convey deep meanings to consumers’ life. Prior studies assume consumers have enduring and stable relationships with such possessions resulting from their role in identity construction. These studies tend to neglect the influence of passing time and moving spaces and fail to provide a network perspective, predominantly focusing on the consumer-possession dyad.
This thesis explores the processes through which meanings are given to tourist objects and how these meanings evolve through time and space. I followed a qualitative naturalistic interpretive approach examining the three stages of the consumption cycle, namely acquisition, consumption, and disposal.
The findings are developed in chapters 7 to 9. Chapter 7 explores tourist souvenirs in depth, including motivations for buying and consuming them, barriers to purchase as well as the types, meanings, and functions of souvenirs. Chapter 8 focuses on the transition from the holiday experience to everyday life and the influence of this transition on the meanings of tourist objects. Chapter 9 investigates the multidimensional and dynamic nature of tourist possession attachment. It then presents the dependence and dependency relationships that lead to entanglement and entrapment situations which may drive consumers’ enduring or liquid relationships with their tourist possessions.
Taken together, these findings bring a holistic and dynamic perspective to the relationships between consumers and their special possessions.
Date of Award3 Sep 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Namur
SupervisorAlain DECROP (Supervisor), Annick CASTIAUX (President), Pietro ZIDDA (Jury), Claude Pecheux (Jury), Dominique Roux (Jury) & Russel W. Belk (Jury)

Keywords

  • Consumer Culture Theory
  • tourist souvenirs
  • longitudinal study
  • qualitative research
  • entanglement theory
  • attachment
  • special possessions

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