The Global Myth of “Me”: Self-Actualization and Identity Practices in the Contemporary Global Consumptionscape,

Soren Askegaard, Southern Denmark University, Denmark
Dannie Kjeldgaard, Southern Denmark University, Denmark
This paper addresses a fundamental myth in consumer culture, the myth of the self-actualizing consumer. The self-actualizing industries’ mythic discourse evokes the heroic monadic self trying to liberate itself from Society’s constraining social norms and expectations. Self-actualization is linked to a Rousseau inspired unspoiled, immediate natural state of being as against an unnatural technologized social being. We will illustrate the global character of the self-actualization myth with an example based on research with Nepalese yoga institute owners and yoga practitioners in Kathmandu. We show how a traditional practice has been reborn as an element of the global myth of self-actualization.
[ to cite ]:
Soren Askegaard and Dannie Kjeldgaard (2008) ,"The Global Myth of “Me”: Self-Actualization and Identity Practices in the Contemporary Global Consumptionscape,", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 67-71.