Although identity construction has been discussed extensively in relation to consumption, such studies have also been criticised for reducing consumption objects into mere signifiers or symbols of various identities, ignoring the complex meaning construction processes of objects in use. This paper addresses this criticism, through a study of mobile telephone consumption practices in Sri Lanka, by examining how different usage patterns of the mobile telephone could play a role in consumer identity construction processes. The study focuses on three consumer groups: senior business managers, young consumers representing a high socio-economic stratum, and young consumers representing a lower socio-economic stratum. The findings indicate that consumers use differences in consumption patterns as a means of distinguishing their identities from those of others; further, varying the consumption patterns is used by consumers to manage multiple identities of the same individual.
How to Cite:
Wijetunga, D. (2016). ‘I am How I Consume’: The Construction of Identity through Use of the Mobile Telephone. NSBM Journal of Management, 1(2), 41–70. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/nsbmjm.v1i2.11