Exploring the (Re)Construction of the Body in Virtual Worlds: Consumption of Body As Experience

Handan Vicdan, The University of Texas-Pan American, USA
Ebru Ulusoy, The University of Texas-Pan American, USA
We explore the meanings in the ongoing (re)construction of the body through avatars in a virtual world called Second Life. Using nethnographic research method, we investigate the ways in which consumers are involved in SL, the meanings attached to their avatars, the process of (re)constructing their avatars, and the experiences lived through avatars. Findings help conceptualize the body as experience, which enhances the perception of the body as a means of self-presentation. We introduce the concept of symembodiment to articulate the presence of body in SL, and to provide an alternative perspective to the embodiment/disembodiment paradox in the literature by revealing further paradoxes concerning the presence of the body in virtual worlds.
[ to cite ]:
Handan Vicdan and Ebru Ulusoy (2009) ,"Exploring the (Re)Construction of the Body in Virtual Worlds: Consumption of Body As Experience", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 927-927.