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The Fire of Desire: A Multisited Inquiry into Consumer Passion

Russell W Belk, Guliz Ger and Soren Askegaard

Journal of Consumer Research, 2003, vol. 30, issue 3, 326-51

Abstract: Desire is the motivating force behind much of contemporary consumption. Yet consumer research has devoted little specific attention to passionate and fanciful consumer desire. This article is grounded in consumers' everyday experiences of longing for and fantasizing about particular goods. Based on journals, interviews, projective data, and inquiries into daily discourses in three cultures (the United States, Turkey, and Denmark), we develop a phenomenological account of desire. We find that desire is regarded as a powerful cyclic emotion that is both discomforting and pleasurable. Desire is an embodied passion involving a quest for otherness, sociality, danger, and inaccessibility. Underlying and driving the pursuit of desire, we find self-seduction, longing, desire for desire, fear of being without desire, hopefulness, and tensions between seduction and morality. We discuss theoretical implications of these processes for consumer research. Copyright 2003 by the University of Chicago.

Date: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:oup:jconrs:v:30:y:2003:i:3:p:326-51