Compensatory Consumption and Narrative Identity Theory

ABSTRACT - The theory of narrative identity (Ricoeur, 1984, 1992) suggests that in order to make time human and socially shared, we require a narrative identity for yourself; that is, we make sense of ourselves and our lives by stories we can (or cannot) tell. This paper explores compensatory consumption through the experiences of two adult women and the stories they construct which help them situate themselves in time and place. The function of these stories is examined in relation to the materialisation and maintenance of identity within the context of the women’s lived experience of shopping and compensatory consumption behaviour.


Helen Woodruffe-Burton and Richard Elliott (2005) ,"Compensatory Consumption and Narrative Identity Theory", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 32, eds. Geeta Menon and Akshay R. Rao, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 461-465.


Helen Woodruffe-Burton, Lancaster University
Richard Elliott, Warwick Business School


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 32 | 2005

Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More


When People Stop Being Nice and Start Getting “Real”: Use of Identity Labels for Stigmatized Groups

Esther Uduehi, University of Pennsylvania, USA
Americus Reed, University of Pennsylvania, USA

Read More


The Positivity Problem: Using Mass-Scale Emotionality to Predict Marketplace Success

Matthew D Rocklage, Northwestern University, USA
Derek Rucker, Northwestern University, USA
Loran F Nordgren, Northwestern University, USA

Read More


Self-Producer`s Journey: Identity Construction and Transformation in Self-Production

S. Sinem Atakan, Ozyegin University, Turkey
Mina Seraj, Ozyegin University, Turkey

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.