Understanding the Changing Role of Possessions in Global Mobility

We examine the behaviors of contemporary global nomads, recognized in recent sociology of globalization but neglected in consumer research. We find that they exhibit weak object attachment, and we investigate how and why. We find that the experience of liquidity that comes with elite forms of global mobility lessens the identity role of possessions. Instead, global nomads use practices to periodically reterritorialize themselves in varying locales. Objects are valued primarily for their use value. In outlining how possessions lose identity value in a world of global mobility, we contribute to a theory of materiality in consumer behavior that looks beyond conventional representations of materialism.


Fleura Bardhi, Giana Eckhardt, and Eric Arnould (2011) ,"Understanding the Changing Role of Possessions in Global Mobility", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9, eds. Alan Bradshaw, Chris Hackley, and Pauline Maclaran, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 46-47.


Fleura Bardhi, Northeastern University, USA
Giana Eckhardt, Suffolk University, USA
Eric Arnould, University of Wyoming, USA


E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9 | 2011

Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More


L2. Wish List Thinking: The Role of Psychological Ownership in Consumer Likelihood to Purchase or Remove a Product from an Online Wish List

Christopher Groening, Kent State University, USA
Jennifer Wiggins, Kent State University, USA
Iman Raoofpanah, Kent State University, USA

Read More


My Money is Yours, but My Time is Still Mine: Inseparability of Consumption from the Self Increases Control and Giving

John P. Costello, Ohio State University, USA
Selin A. Malkoc, Ohio State University, USA

Read More


The Psychology of Fun: Inquiry into Consumers' Fun Experiences

Travis Tae Oh, Columbia University, USA
Michel Tuan Pham, Columbia University, USA

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.