Inspired by an on-going empirical research on consumers and their tales about disruptive events they have faced in their life, this paper illustrates the value of using interpretative hermeneutics for analyzing consumption during these transformations. Such disruptive events are for instance: Divorce, death of beloved ones, marriage of convenience, or expatriation. In these kinds of contexts, a hermeneutical analysis allows researchers to study punctual consumption occurrences (buying, consuming or dispossessing) as being an expression of a personal narrative re-building that facilitates a deeper understanding of underlying motives. Investigating life disruptive events and their consequences on consumption behaviors appears to be particularly important in contemporary societies, where people are increasingly facing new endings and new beginnings during life, making reconstruction and adaptation a necessary process.
Consumer transformation, narrative identity, symbolic consumption and interpretative hermeneutics
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