Introduction : Spaces

Hamilton, Kathleen and Hewer, Paul and Jafari, Aliakbar; Hewer, Paul and Hamilton, Kathy and Jafari, Aliakbar, eds. (2015) Introduction : Spaces. In: New Directions in Consumer Research. SAGE Publications Ltd, London, vii-xiv. ISBN 9781473911536

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Literature from various disciplinary perspectives acknowledges that people often develop rich and complex relationships to places that they perceive as important, thereby highlighting the need to understand spatial aspects of consumption. Since the publication of Yi-Fu Tuan’s Space and Place (1977), the distinction between the more abstract nature of space and experienced nature of place has been understood. As Tuan (1977, p. 6) observed, “what begins as undifferentiated space becomes place as we get to know it better and endow it with value.” A space therefore becomes a place when it is consumed (Sherry 1998), often involving a process of appropriation that leads to a sense of belonging and symbolic meaning (Visconti et al. 2010). As a result, places often become important parts of the extended self (Belk, 1998) to which we develop strong emotional attachments.