The Single Consumer: Avoiding Tradition and Extending the Self

Angeline Close, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Aubrey Fowler III, University of Nebraska
The single person represents a growing population; yet, at times, a single person may find him or herself surrounded by a marketplace that promotes couplehood and disengages the single consumer. As one instance, Valentine’s Day is an annual event that celebrates the institution of the couple. At more frequent events (e.g., weddings, attending a restaurant or movie), a single person may feel incomplete or out of place. Thus, via multiple qualitative methods, we seek to: 1) understand and explain single consumers’ experiences and identity-reflecting purchases, and 2) to apply the theory of the extended self (Belk, 1988) by showing how a lack of possessions and or experiences with a romantic partner may contribute to a single consumer's feeling of an incomplete self.
[ to cite ]:
Angeline Close and Aubrey Fowler III (2008) ,"The Single Consumer: Avoiding Tradition and Extending the Self", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 933-933.