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

Tim Stone, Stephen J Gould, Teodóra Szabó-Douat

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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 - Dec 2017



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

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