Disposal and simple living: exploring the circulation of goods and the development of sacred consumption
This study examines how consumers who engage in voluntary simplicity experience disposal in relation to changes in their values, identity, and lifestyle. The hermeneutic analysis shows disposal organized around three main themes: "desire for emancipation," "sacrificing the surplus," and "moving toward the sacred." Each theme offers insights on disposal as a transcendental experience during which consumers relocate consumption meanings from the profane to the sacred. On the one hand, the practice of disposal symbolizes a distance from the profane marketplace and its constraining norms and on the other hand, it leads consumers to participate in the life of objects and to construct sacred consumption. Here, goods are removed from the profane commerce and transferred to sacredness with an eternal life of transit between hands and ownership. As such, goods can be regarded as alive, physically moving from one person to another. This article concludes that voluntary disposal can be seen as a form of empowerment. Through disposal, consumers participate in the life of objects. By contributing to the circulation of the material, consumers have the power to transform an act of pure elimination into a transcendental experience that prefigures the death of profane consumption and the birth of sacred consumption.
Journal of Consumer Behaviour
Marketing not elsewhere classified