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Collections and collecting in a digital age

Watkins, Rebecca and Belk, Russell 2016. Collections and collecting in a digital age. Presented at: Consumer Culture Theory Conference 2016, Lille, France, 6-9 July 2016.

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Research within the consumer culture theory tradition has examined material collections, the processes involved in collecting, and collectors themselves. As many consumer possessions shift from material to digital form, we ask whether digital collections are different. In this conceptual paper we review literature across a broad spectrum of disciplines in order to examine how digital consumption objects may challenge traditional practices and experiences of collecting. We then consider the potential for these items to facilitate new forms of collecting that may better suit the needs of contemporary consumers. In doing so we demonstrate the limitations of existing theories of collecting, rooted in the context of material possessions. While we find that digital collections lack certain elements of material collections, including the quest, the aura, and the provenance of their material counterparts, we also find that digital collecting offers new possibilities such as access-based collecting, broadened assemblages of epistemic collectibles, and new modes of displaying digital or digitized collections.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
T Technology > T Technology (General)
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Last Modified: 27 Oct 2017 01:48

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