Escape from Burdens of Ownership to Freedom of access: A Conceptual Framework for Liquid Consumption


ÖZBÖLÜK T.

JOURNAL OF ECONOMY CULTURE AND SOCIETY, no.59, pp.143-162, 2019 (Journal Indexed in ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: Issue: 59
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.26650/jecs433409
  • Title of Journal : JOURNAL OF ECONOMY CULTURE AND SOCIETY
  • Page Numbers: pp.143-162

Abstract

This paper examines the changes in consumption in the context of liquid consumption in liquid modern times. In the paper, the notion of consumption is analyzed in two dimensions as solid and liquid. Liquid consumption, characterized with values such as flexibility, adaptability and fluidity, represents a more ephemeral and access-based consumption pattern. In the liquid modem world, where relations with consumption objects are more ephemeral and situational, consumers give more emphasis on the use value of objects. Thus, the main argument of the paper shapes around the idea that it becomes more important for consumers to have a temporary use that allows them to have access to the products without owning them. As consumers prefer accessing rather than owning the objects, access gradually becomes more important than ownership. In this respect, liquid consumption is considered to change most of the cornerstones of consumer behavior such as the importance of ownership and the nature of attachment to the objects. In addition, liquid consumption has also implications for conceptualization of consumer identity under liquid conditions. Thus, the paper revisits identity and consumption relation in liquid modernity. The paper suggests that consumers develop liquid identities such as instrumental self or networked-self with liquid consumption.