"Am I as extended as you say I am?" Consumers' emic perspectives on the extended self

Tim Stone, Stephen J Gould, Teodóra Szabó-Douat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


Although the extended self construct (Belk, 1988) has been widely investigated in consumer research, it has inspired relatively few critiques. Moreover, there has been little research which directly assesses consumers’ own emic perspectives on the extended self. Here, an empirical investigation is reported which explicitly solicits consumers’ own ideas and hermeneutically considers them in relation to etic researcher theory. The findings indicate a major theoretical blind spot: not only do consumers differ in the polysemy, i.e., the various meanings and discourses they apply to the extended self, but also that marketing theory should be revised to reflect this lack of universal understanding.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)559-577
Number of pages19
JournalMarketing Theory
Issue number4
Early online date24 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

Bibliographical note

We would like to thank Pauline Maclaren (Editor) and each of the three reviewers of our work for their constructive comments and support throughout the review process. We would also like to thank Paula Gould and Grace Mackie for providing feedback on an earlier draft of this paper.


  • extended self
  • critical marketing
  • empirical research
  • emic-etic
  • materiality
  • resistance
  • agency
  • naturalizing
  • polysemy


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