Suffering an ID crisis? Then go shopping

December 20, 2002

Shopping is part of a fundamental search to discover the real self, says York University sociologist Colin Campbell. In his paper I Shop, therefore Know that I Am he argues that retail therapy is a serious process in which people discover who they are through tastes and preferences. "Viewed in this way the activity of consuming can be considered as a vital and necessary path to self-discovery."

Professor Campbell says this view of self-identity is new because our grandparents and parents were far more likely to see themselves in terms of their status or religious beliefs.


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