Identity, Consumption and Loss: the Impact of Women’S Experience of Grief and Mourning on Consumption in Empty Nest Households

Carolyn Folkman Curasi, Georgia State University
Margaret K. Hogg, UMIST
Pauline Maclaran, Leicester Business School
ABSTRACT - In this paper we examine how women use consumption to negotiate the four tasks of grief and mourning, as they experience the loss of children in the empty nest household. From our study we identify the double loss faced by empty-nest mothers: the physical and emotional presence of their child; and the tasks central to the motherhood role: daily maintenance and the production of sociability. We discuss how women use consumption to re-establish emotional connectedness with their children who are physically absent; to reconfigure their mothering tasks in order to maintain the sense of family beyond the empty nest household; and to re-create their sense of self in the life long project of identity formation.
[ to cite ]:
Carolyn Folkman Curasi, Margaret K. Hogg, and Pauline Maclaran (2004) ,"Identity, Consumption and Loss: the Impact of Women’S Experience of Grief and Mourning on Consumption in Empty Nest Households", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 31, eds. Barbara E. Kahn and Mary Frances Luce, Valdosta, GA : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 615-622.