Do Not Go Cheaply into that Good Night: Death Ritual Consumption in Asante, Ghana

Posted: 14 Oct 2003

See all articles by Samuel K. Bonsu

Samuel K. Bonsu

York University - Department of Marketing

Russell W. Belk

Schulich School of Business, York University

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Abstract

Theory on identity negotiations posits that a person's identity construction project ceases upon death. We tested this proposition using death ritual consumption experiences of consumers in Asante, Ghana, West Africa. We found that bereaved Asante consumers engage in conspicuous ritual consumption in pursuit of newer social identities for their deceased and themselves, and that funerals involve a reciprocal and continuing relationship between the living and the dead. In addition, we found that terror management theory is limited in its relevance for non-Western context. We also detected limits to the ability to transform global capital into local capital.

Keywords: Death, Ritual, Consumer Behavior, Funerals, Conspicuous Consumption, Identity, Social Capital

JEL Classification: M39

Suggested Citation

Bonsu, Samuel K. and Belk, Russell W., Do Not Go Cheaply into that Good Night: Death Ritual Consumption in Asante, Ghana. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=410326

Samuel K. Bonsu

York University - Department of Marketing ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

Russell W. Belk (Contact Author)

Schulich School of Business, York University ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

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