The Role of Identity in Disposal: Lessons From Mothers' Disposal of Children's Products

The research question that this study asks is: How are we what we dispose of? The study uses in-depth interviews with mothers to answer this question by building a new model of disposal and identity. The interview findings demonstrate that disposal is a consumer behavior that is used to build, maintain, and signal both individual and social identity. Complexities, conflicts and coping strategies are an inherent part of disposal as an identity marker. And the boundaries between disposal and consumption are more permeable and fluid than previously supposed by theory. In short, this study brings together the a priori themes of disposal, identity, and motherhood, to present new insights into each of these three areas critical to consumer behavior research.


Barbara Phillips and Trina Sego (2011) ,"The Role of Identity in Disposal: Lessons From Mothers' Disposal of Children's Products", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9, eds. Alan Bradshaw, Chris Hackley, and Pauline Maclaran, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 520.


Barbara Phillips, University of Saskatchewan, Canada
Trina Sego, Boise State University


E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9 | 2011

Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More


From a Culinary Phantasm to an Eudaimonic Well-Being : Exploring The Experience of Amateur Cooking Classes

Virginie Brégeon de Saint-Quentin, Ferrandi Paris, the french school of gastronomy
Ophélie Mugel, Chaire SDSC AgroParisTech, Université Paris Est

Read More


O7. Helpful Mental Shortcuts or a Shortcut to Bias? Two Perspectives on Heuristics and One New Direction for Consumer Research

Carly Drake, University of Calgary, Canada
Mehdi Mourali, University of Calgary, Canada

Read More


Understanding Organ Donation: Discourses of Embodied Recycling

Rebecca Scott, Cardiff University
Samantha Warren, Car

Read More

Engage with Us

Becoming an Association for Consumer Research member is simple. Membership in ACR is relatively inexpensive, but brings significant benefits to its members.