Symbols, Selves, and Others, Advances in Consumer Research
The three papers are diverse views on the symbolic character of products. The two studies reported are convincing demonstrations that cars, houses, and flowers have meanings that both cut across market segments and differ among them. Hirschman's paper highlights the difference between the diffusion of innovations that are physically or technologically novel and those that are innovations by virtue of change in social meaning alone. Further study can work toward clarification of concepts, exploring interaction of symbols, richness and layering of symbolic meaning, and the complex process whereby people interpret symbols to themselves, to others, and about others.
Levy, Sidney. 1981. Symbols, Selves, and Others. Advances in Consumer Research. 9(1): 542-543.