So hard to say goodbye? An investigation into the symbolic aspects of unintended disposition practices



Linha de Pesquisa
Tomada de Decisão, Comportamento e Ética

Maribel Suarez, Roberta Dias Campos, Leticia Moreira Casotti, Luciana Velloso



Journal of Consumer Behaviour, v. 15, no. 5, pp. 420-429. Abstract: Even though disposition is present in the consumer behavior research agenda, most of the studies focus mainly on intentional movements of products leaving the home. The present article describes a less conscious and co-incidental journey of products into a liminal zone between use and disposal inside homes. A qualitative field study, based on the itinerary method, was undertaken with a group of 26 affluent women in Brazil. The findings show that consumers maintain purgatories – “forgotten” repositories of products no longer in use – as an in-home disposition practice. The aspects and functioning of purgatory are also detailed, through a typology of purgatories and a discussion of specific strategies to deal with cluttering as a consequence of product accumulation inside homes. Finally, purgatories emerge as a contemporary consumer solution to deal not with individual products but with product collectivities’ disposition.

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