American Self-Enhancement Culture and the Cyborg Consumer: Consumer Identity Construction Beyond the Dominance of Authenticity

Social critics of American self-enhancement culture often lament that it draws individuals in a biomedical consumerism that frustrates the construction of genuine self-identity. This “lost authenticity” critique ignores that consumers can forge their identity in narrative terms not dominated by modernist questions regarding inauthentic vs. authentic. Americans injecting Botox for self-enhancement purposes draw from a new model: the cyborg consumer. We develop this conception to analyze how consumers partially and inconsistently transcend historically established dualities–nature vs. technology, authentic vs. inauthentic–to create consistent “stories of the self.” We profile an emerging historical discontinuity between a modernist identity protocol prescribing self-authenticity as the ultimate goal and a competing protocol challenging this authority by prescribing unlimited agency through technological self-enhancement.



Citation:

Markus Giesler, Marius K. Luedicke, and Berrin Ozergin (2009) ,"American Self-Enhancement Culture and the Cyborg Consumer: Consumer Identity Construction Beyond the Dominance of Authenticity", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 72-75.

Authors

Markus Giesler, York University, Canada
Marius K. Luedicke, University of Innsbruck, Austria
Berrin Ozergin, University of Witten / Herdecke



Volume

NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36 | 2009



Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More

Featured

R11. The Influence of Brand Rituals on Perceived Brand Authenticity

Lijing Zheng, University of Hong Kong
Echo Wen Wan, University of Hong Kong
Zhongqiang (Tak) Huang, University of Hong Kong

Read More

Featured

Reversing the Experiential Advantage: Happiness Leads People to Perceive Purchases as More Experiential than Material

Hyewon Oh, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
Joseph K Goodman, Ohio State University, USA
Incheol Choi, Seoul National University

Read More

Featured

P5. Can(Can’t) Control, thus Try to Save (Earn): The Joint Effect of Perceived Control and Financial Deprivation on Financial Decisions

Min Jung Kim, Manhattan College

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.