Gender identity-related meanings of personal possessions

Dittmar, Helga (1989) Gender identity-related meanings of personal possessions. British Journal of Social Psychology, 28 (2). pp. 159-171. ISSN 0144-6665

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This study explores the types of personal possessions women and men consider important and the meanings they attach to them. Twenty female and 20 male subjects listed their five most treasured possessions and then described in an open-ended format the reasons why they considered each of these important. The data, which were analysed quantitatively and qualitatively, confirmed the expectation that women and men do not differ greatly in terms of the types of possessions they see as important. The results support the two general hypotheses that (a) men tend to see possessions as important mainly because of their instrumental, pragmatic and self-referent features, whereas (b) women regard possessions as important not only because of their use-related aspects but equally because they symbolize interpersonal integration and emotional attachment. The findings are discussed with reference to a functional/self-oriented vs. symbolic/other-oriented continuum of the meanings of personal possessions as reflections of gender identity.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Helga Dittmar
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2017 07:32
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2017 07:32
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