Symbolic Behavior: Consumption and Socialization

10 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2001

See all articles by Ana Paula Celso de Miranda

Ana Paula Celso de Miranda

Faculdade Boa Viagem (FBV)

Olga Maria Coutinho Pepece

Federal University of Parana (UFPR) - Faculdade Curitiba

Sergio Carvalho Benicio de Mello

UFPE; Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE)


Objects of consumption and their meanings diverge amongst societies according to the social context. Thus, the meanings expressed by consumers reflect their cultural point of view. The consumption behavior can be explained by the need of expressing these meanings, by the ownership of products that communicate to society how the individual is self-perceived while a member of its social group. This paper tries to establish the symbolic meaning, in the social context, of self-concept and consumption behavior. The symbolic consumption is seen as form of mediating self-concept and consumption behavior. Symbols impels the purchase attitude for a product, according to expressed social meanings, where the individual interacts and how he/she self-perceives, or even wants to be perceived. Research questions for futures studies are discussed with base in the theoretical background presented for the proposed theme.

JEL Classification: E21, D10

Suggested Citation

Celso de Miranda, Ana Paula and Coutinho Pepece, Olga Maria and Carvalho Benicio de Mello, Sergio, Symbolic Behavior: Consumption and Socialization. Available at SSRN: or

Ana Paula Celso de Miranda (Contact Author)

Faculdade Boa Viagem (FBV) ( email )

Rua Faustino Porto, 65, ap. 402, Boa Viageme
Recife 51030-010, Pernambuco
+81 34 672742 (Phone)
+81 33 261136 (Fax)

Olga Maria Coutinho Pepece

Federal University of Parana (UFPR) - Faculdade Curitiba

Av. Silva Jardim, n. 994, ap. 1306, Reboucas
Curitiba 80230-000, Parana
+41 23 27432 (Phone)
+81 33 261136 (Fax)

Sergio Carvalho Benicio de Mello

UFPE ( email )

Rua Setubal, n. 1700, ap.1002
+81 34 626190 (Phone)
+81 33 261136 (Fax)

Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE)

Cidade Universitária
Cidade Universitária, Pernambuco 50670-901

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