The Collecting Continuum: Incorporating Amateur Scientists and Scholarly Collecting Behaviors

Greta Polites, Bucknell University, USA
Prior collecting research has largely failed to address “scientific” or “scholarly” collecting behaviors. We propose a taxonomy of collectors, grounded in theories of serious leisure and the amateur/professional continuum, that more accurately distinguishes between typical consumer collectors and their scientific counterparts. We support the taxonomy through textual analysis and in-depth interviews with collectors of natural history objects. Given the current popularity of natural history collections and growing societal pressures against their private ownership, we discuss the internal conflicts such collectors face to expand/complete their collections in a socially responsible manner. Our study contributes to both the collection and motivation literature.
[ to cite ]:
Greta Polites (2009) ,"The Collecting Continuum: Incorporating Amateur Scientists and Scholarly Collecting Behaviors", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 910-910.