Relationship between possessions and the sense of self Essay

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Having the research findings reviewed in the last chapter, this chapter will discourse the implicit in grounds and accounts for those findings. Individual treatments are provided for each of the three cardinal subjects.

Their Consumption Pattern

In this first subdivision, the ingestion form of participants would be explained in relation to the three subdivisions in the literature reappraisal in Chapter 2. The first subdivision discusses the relationship between ownerships and the sense of ego. The 2nd subdivision evaluates the ingestion form in dealingss to symbolic interactionism suggested by Solomon ( 1983 ) . Finally, the 3rd subdivision discusses the ingestion of work-related merchandises with regard to work individuality ( Walsh and Gordon, 2008 ) .


The fact that all 10 participants are buying dressing agrees with the determination from Secord and Jourard ( 1953 cited in Belk, 1988 ) that females have a stronger focal point on their organic structure parts than males. In Section 4.1.1, the instance of Alice could be classified as utilizing the symbolic value of merchandises to specify her new function ( Solomon, 1983 ) . The merchandise, vesture in this instance, contains the value of ‘elegance ‘ which is used non merely to carry through the frock codification of the company but besides to set up her new function as an employed individual. Victoria ‘s instance in the same subdivision is an illustration of utilizing merchandises to verify an established function and to fulfill the demand of the function ( ibid. ) . In her instance, when she is run intoing her client, she understands that as a canvasser, she needs to give a professional feeling to her client, and hence elegant vesture is chosen to pull off her professional image. Thus both merchandise uses suggested by Solomon ( 1983 ) are present for the participants in this research. However, Becky mentioned that her ingestion form for vesture does non alter because her company allows her to have on insouciant erosion for work. Reviewing that Becky and Alice are working in the same business ( publication ) , but their vesture for work are different, it supports Young ‘s ( 1991 ) suggestion that two people ‘s behavior would be different even if both of them are moving as the same societal function, in this instance working in the same profession.

The facet of dining out could be explained by the term ‘attachment ‘ ( Ball and Tasaki, 1992 ) . Victoria ‘s first extract in Section 4.1.2 provinces that at the clip when she was a pupil but her friends were working, her friends did non mind passing more on repasts. It means that her friends, holding their ain income to pass, utilized this larger disbursement ability to keep their new self-concept of being an employed individual, harmonizing to Ball and Tasaki ( 1992 ) . Their income allowed them to be more flexible at disbursement, and in fact it helps heighten their sense of ego ( Belk, 1988 ) . In Victoria ‘s point of position, although she still minds about utilizing that big sum of money on a repast for now that she is gaining her income, she feels better about it because she thinks she has adapted to that. This farther proves Ball and Tasaki ‘s ( 1992 ) position that clip is needed for the degree of fond regard.

In Section 4.1.4, Rainbow ‘s extract provinces that she aims for a balance between work and life. Therefore when she was on her holiday, she would ordain a function which is different from being a physical therapist at work. This agrees with the suggestion of Solomon et Al. ( 2010 ) that an person would possess many different individualities within him/herself. It is the same for the instance of Yvonne in the same subdivision that she wants to get away from the force per unit area of work through traveling to shopping or go toing Yoga lessons. She is ordaining different functions when she is at work, when she is traveling to shopping and when she is holding Yoga lessons. Taking an illustration, she would have on her old Jersey for Yoga lessons but she would have on the uniform provided by the infirmary at work. This state of affairs besides demonstrates another suggestion from Solomon et Al. ( 2010 ) that different merchandises, in this instance different vesture, are required for a individual to ordain different functions.

Therefore, from this subdivision, it could be concluded that more than one individuality is present in their sense of ego. Not merely their on the job function, but other individualities related to different societal circles exist in their self-concept.


The instance of Victoria in Section 4.1.1 demonstrates the construct of symbolic interactionism suggested by Solomon et Al. ( 2010 ) . She mentioned that she would mention to the erosion of her co-workers and the people who are working in similar Fieldss to take her vesture consequently. Thus her office and those similar Fieldss are moving as a symbolic environment for the interaction of symbols, in this instance the suited vesture for those industries, to bespeak the appropriate significances of what to have on for work ( ibid. ) .

The automatic rating of symbolic interactionism is illustrated by the difference in their disbursement form. In Section 4.1.5, Irene, Becky and Yvonne stated that they would non be easy affected by others for their ingestion form. Becky and Yvonne particularly pointed out that their pick of vesture would non be easy changed. The ground for Yvonne is that she thought her ain pick for those merchandises is relatively alone. Rainbow besides mentioned that she would mention to the tendency of have oning but the last purchase determination would still be made by herself. Therefore the pick of appearance-related merchandises is comparatively more dependent on personal considerations than the remarks of others. Thus it relies more on intrapersonal ratings ( Solomon, 1983 ) .

However, Yvonne besides mentioned that her friends tend to be influenced by each other for their ingestion form. Rainbow besides mentioned that with merchandises like iPhone, people would wish to obtain it because they know that others have possessed one. These are interpersonal ratings ( Solomon, 1983 ) . But for appearance-related merchandises like vesture, there would be instances like Yvonne ‘s friends impacting each other but besides the instances of Yvonne and Rainbow that they prefer taking by themselves. The ground is that this sort of appearance-related merchandises could be used for showing an individualised sense of ego every bit good as a group individuality ( Belk, 1988 ) . Therefore whether the automatic rating is interpersonal or intrapersonal ( Solomon, 1983 ) , the pick of any merchandise relies on both merchandise attributes and personal characters.

The societal individuality theory is shown by Irene ‘s instance in Section 4.1.2. She mentioned that she particularly wants to see her old friends more frequently after she started working and she would portion her bad feelings with them. This indicates that her individuality within her friends is busying a big portion in her sense of ego. Thus this determination demonstrates the societal individuality theory that through comparing with others whom she got in touch with in her societal circles, she created her preferable self-identity, in this instance the individuality within her friends, and so she classified herself as a member within them ( Abrams and Hogg, 1990 etc. cited in Walsh and Gordon, 2008 ) .

The facet of dining out besides demonstrates nutrient symbolism, a theory which is non mentioned in the literature reappraisal. Victoria ‘s 2nd extract in Section 4.1.2 illustrates nutrient as a tool for societal connexion ( Kniazeva and Venkatesh, 2007 ) . Food becomes a cardinal instrument in constructing the relationship between people when there is more than one individual affecting in the repast ( ibid. ) . Her position of stressing the assemblage more than the nutrient they are holding agrees with the determination from Kniazeva and Venkatesh ( 2007 ) that non merely the dishes, but besides the societal environment and interaction are indispensable factors for a good repast.

From the treatment above, it is clear that the interaction consequence affects both their ingestion form and their preferable societal circle. These two factors are indispensable in assisting the participants build up their coveted self-identity.

Related to work

Section 4.1.3 provinces that Gloria, Irene, Rainbow and Yvonne are passing money on farther surveies for beef uping their accomplishments and background for their future calling. In Wrzesniewski et Al. ‘s ( 1997 cited in Walsh and Gordon, 2008: 54 ) footings, they could be classified as ‘career-oriented ‘ because their pursuit of farther surveies indicate that they pay attending to their business and they are concerned about their future calling way. This farther indicates that they have a stronger work individuality ( Wrzesniewski et al. , 1997 cited in Walsh and Gordon, 2008 ) compared to the other participants in the current survey.

For the instance of Georgia, she could be considered less career-oriented because she does non like her business ( ibid. ) although she is besides prosecuting farther surveies related to her profession. As she does non hold the sense of belonging in her business, she has a comparatively weaker work individuality compared with the four participants mentioned above ( ibid. ) .

From this subdivision, it could be deduced that work individuality is present in their sense of ego. However, the extent to which it occupies their self-concept is dependent on whether they have a strong accent on their business or non.

Their Leaning to Salvage

The participants non merely spend their income but besides save a part of them for their hereafter. Therefore after explicating the ingestion facet in the last subdivision, this subdivision is discoursing the implicit in grounds of their economy form. There are two subdivisions in this subdivision. The first subdivision explains their long-run planning issues underlying their economy and investing determinations. The 2nd subdivision discusses the consequence of interaction on their leaning to salvage.

Long-run planning

All participants mentioned that they hope to salvage more money and some of them would repair an sum of disbursement every month. For case, the extract from Gloria in Section 4.2.1 stated that she has set an sum for disbursement each month and she would pass all of them.

In the investing facet, Victoria ‘s instance in Section 4.2.2 indicated that she prefers puting in long-run stocks every bit early as possible in order to roll up a larger sum for the hereafter. For Karen ‘s instance in the same subdivision, she is really concerned about puting her nest eggs in stocks in order to gain more for her future belongings. Her purpose at having her belongings besides agrees with Belk ‘s ( 1988 ) suggestion that money allows a individual to be more flexible for his/her disbursement, in this instance by puting her nest eggs in stocks, she could gain more money and obtain her ain belongings at a faster gait.

This subdivision shows that the participants prepare their disbursement and salvaging forms in a long-run facet and therefore it could be deduced that they have a good long-run planning for their hereafter. Although they now have a much big income than earlier when they were a pupil, they would non pass excessively extravagantly and alternatively they prefer holding a good planning now for fixing a better hereafter.


Karen ‘s instance in Section 4.2.2 provides another presentation for symbolic interactionism. As her occupation is an hearer and she is passing her clip in the fiscal industry every twenty-four hours, she is influenced by her industry at a really big proportion, for which she besides admitted in the interview. Her work topographic point provides her the symbolic environment for the interaction of symbolic value of investing ( Solomon et al. , 2010 ) . Finally, the symbolic significance that investing is really of import for her hereafter is created ( ibid. ) , and accordingly she adjusted her behavior and involved in investing every bit good ( Solomon, 1983 ) .

For Yvonne ‘s instance in Section 4.2.1, she mentioned that she decided to salvage more money because she realized that her friends were salvaging much more than her over the last twelvemonth. This illustration further illustrates the interpersonal facet of automatic rating ( Solomon, 1983 ) . The shared significance of holding more nest eggs between her friends induced her to set her behavior to salvage more harmonizing to the predicted behavior of her friends ( ibid. ) . She besides talked about missing the sense of security with small nest eggs. Her position agrees with Belk ‘s ( 1988 ) suggestion that money enables greater flexibleness in ingestion. If she had more nest eggs, she would non be worried about non holding adequate money.

This subdivision indicates that their economy and investing purposes are besides influenced by interaction. The two participants in this subdivision realized the power of money. Karen could accomplish her purpose of holding her ain belongings faster by affecting her nest eggs in investing, while Yvonne would non hold the sense of insecurity from holding less salvaging than her friends. This ability from holding more money is a manner of heightening their sense of ego, as suggested by Belk ( 1988 ) .

Possessions of past individuality

The research findings show that participants would throw off some of their ownerships but at the same clip besides maintain some of the others for memory. The two facets would be explained in item in the two separate subdivisions below.


Although all participants mentioned that they would non throw their ownerships off really frequently, some of them did threw away some of their ownerships which are related to their past self-identity. Becky ‘s extract in Section 4.3.1 explains that she threw off her narrative books which she read in the yesteryear because she considered that she would non read them any longer. Harmonizing to La Branche ( 1973 cited in Belk, 1988 ) , people are pleased to fling the ownerships which represent an irrelevant individuality for them. Thus it is because she viewed that past individuality of hers as non relevant any longer now that she threw all the books off. The remarks by Victoria and Janice besides give a good account of this behavior. As we are germinating into a new phase of life, we would be stressing on the things related to the current phase and we may finally bury about those ownerships stand foring our yesteryear. As those ownerships are non relevant to our current sense of ego any longer, we would take to throw them off. This phenomenon besides agrees with the suggestion of Ball and Tasaki ( 1992 ) that people would finally obtain fond regard to new ownerships and neglect older 1s as they grow up.


Becky and Janice mentioned that they would non throw away the things related to their university for now because those things contain their memory of university life. This agrees with Belk ‘s ( 1988 ) suggestion that some ownerships are hive awaying valuable memories for an person. It besides implies that the university pupil individuality is still busying one portion in their sense of ego. The possible ground of holding their past university pupil individuality is that they have merely graduated for one twelvemonth which is a really short clip. From Ball and Tasaki ‘s ( 1992 ) suggestion that clip is needed for the degree of fond regard, it could be deduced that clip is besides needed for them to abandon those ownerships. Janice ‘s remark besides agrees with their suggestion that she would non be assured whether she would throw those ownerships off after 10 old ages.


From the treatments above, it could be viewed that there are many individualities present in an person ‘s sense of ego. For illustration, some of the participants emphasize their business as seen from their willing to pass money on prosecuting farther instruction. Therefore they possess a strong work individuality. Some of them besides form their outstanding individualities through their interaction with others, for case their friends. Past individuality may besides be present in position of some of them who do non desire to fling their past ownerships. To reason, both ingestion and their societal connexions help construct up their coveted individualities.

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