Ambivalent Relationships and Projection Onto Indexical Objects

It is well-established in consumer culture theory that an object’s meaning often resides in its ability to represent or trigger memories of others or relationships with others. The context of familial intergenerational transfers of gifts and heirlooms has been a particularly fertile area for investigating this phenomenon. This article draws on the findings from a study of heirlooms. It merges insights from the semiotic perspective of objects representing others with a projection perspective where consumers project their ambivalence about relationships with others onto their relationships with the objects that index those others.


Deborah Heisley and Deborah Cours (2007) ,"Ambivalent Relationships and Projection Onto Indexical Objects", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 636-641.


Deborah Heisley, California State University, Northridge
Deborah Cours, California State University, Northridge


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34 | 2007

Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More


How Do Consumers React to Anthropomorphized Brand Alliance? Applying Interpersonal Expectations to Business-to-Business Relationships

DONGJIN HE, Hong Kong Polytechic University
Fangyuan Chen, Hong Kong Polytechic University
Yuwei Jiang, Hong Kong Polytechic University

Read More


O8. Valuation and Allocation of Bought Time

Eisa Sahabeh Tabrizi, University of Southeast Norway
Marit Engeset, University of Southeast Norway
Luk Warlop, Norwegian School of Management, Norway

Read More


A Slack-Based Account of Pain of Payment

Justin Pomerance, University of Colorado, USA
Nicholas Reinholtz, University of Colorado, 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.