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Cherished Possession – Potential Areas for Research

Becci Dive One of the main points relating to my cherished item is that I will not being using it whilst still at university, as to me it is not appropriate for the social interaction I will be partaking in. This relates to Peterson and Kern’s (1996) acknowledgement of multiplicity of practices (the student me vs. the working me) and an idea of temporary divestment. Although the jacket is cherished, I am avoiding indulging in such feelings or the item itself until I view the timing as appropriate. There is potentially room for study into divestment / detachment based on the current practice / social situation; for example if someone religiously has a teddy bear that they sleep with nightly, when they move to university, the item may adopt a totally different persona in the daytime (thrown on a shelf / under the bed) when peer interaction is likely, but at night the relationship returns to the and the status of the item returns. There could also be scope for further research into the value placed on a product from those who are involved also in the practice at hand (in this situation, my intern colleagues know what the item is worth especially after working unpaid, and what it represents coming from my boss) compared to those external to the practice. This study could also be applied to those involved in the practice but at a different level. You could not move for designer jackets in the office so to those people, the item would have less worth, even though they are consumed by the practice, even more than I was. Does anyone have any thoughts?

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    Janice Denegri Knott


    This hints at a certain messiness in a commodity’s biography that I find appealing. I am wondering, what kind of conceptual vocabulary would equip us to make sense of this shift in meaning and practice? Here I am interested in the potential for reflection and the framing and reframing of an item in terms of an imagined future practice. Perhaps its worth referring back to Epp and Price’s paper, to see if there is scope there to complement that kind of work, with the kind that considers practices in the imagination. Work revisiting Mike and Becky’s work on the consumer imagination, and our reading of Shield’s understanding of the virtual.

    Temporary divestment seems to like a domain of research that fully explored by Lastovika and Fernandez, divestment is generally approached as the end of the consumption cycle. Again, we need to think about conceptual tools to help us make sense of this and consider possible ways to capture these experiences.

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Faculty of Media & Communication, Bournemouth University