Author Archive

Project ideas

/ Post 1980s views of consumption depict consumerism as product of semiology – a game of signs and identities. Nowadays we buy things because they help us express our identity and create  sense of belonging among our peers. But when does consumption fail to fulfill this task? We might, for instance, decorate a new house with objects which we brought from the previous home, or we might buy objects that we consider they define ourselves; despite this, we might not feel at home in the new environment. Why and when do objects fail to fulfill their semiotic function? // For the art aficionados, collecting art is an exciting, peculiar process, similar to a hunter who looks for his prey; the originality / the uniqueness of the work play an important role in this process. In the digital era, computer based art loses its uniqueness, as the piece of code can be easily displayed on any number of computers. It can be easily reproduced, as new media art states that “art is for everyone and made by anyone”. How do collectors feel in this case? Is the relationship between the collector and art piece as special as it used to be in the past? If originality / uniqueness is not any longer the main driver, then what stimulates them to collect?

Summary of Belk, R. (2010) Sharing. Journal of Consumer Research by Laura Mihai

This article distinguishes between sharing, gift exchange and commodity exchange. – Sharing is an activity that is more characteristic of the interior world of the home, rather than the exterior worlds of work and the market. – Both gift giving and sharing are expressions of desire for connection. – There is a lack of attention related to the subject of sharing, as sharing has a ubiquity and taken-for granted character (routine)

Summary of Richins, M. (1994) Valuing Things, Journal of Consumer Research by Laura Mihai

The key concepts presented in this article are related to meaning and value. Consumers own projects for the value they provide, and the value of possessions resides in their meaning. In terms of consumption, the value of possessions has an important role in defining the self and creating a sense of identity. The current research paper has three main objectives: 1. To discuss the meaning of a possession as the source of value for that possession 2. It examines the nature of possession meaning and makes a distinction between public and private meaning. 3. It examines the meaning ascribed to a possession by its owner (private meaning), as well as the meaning ascribed to it by members of society at large (public meaning)


Faculty of Media & Communication, Bournemouth University