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Love and Locks: Consumers Making Pilgrimages and Performing Love Rituals

Consumer Culture Theory

ISBN: 978-1-78754-286-0, eISBN: 978-1-78754-285-3

Publication date: 10 April 2019


Purpose: This study contributes to understanding how consumers perform new rituals of love and gather in pilgrimage sites.

Methodology/Approach: Five years of engagement with 21 consumers involving prolonged observations and unstructured in-depth interviews provided the empirical evidence for this chapter.

Findings: Consumers’ love rituals are better explained by considering not only consumers’ actions and performances but also their physical environment. The authors found that love rituals are rites of passage following three sequences of a script. By using the religious connotation of pilgrimage, the authors highlight the importance of the location of rituals, as well as material objects. Providing contrasting perspectives, the authors also show that rituals follow substantial variations and display the instability and ambiguity of its symbolic meanings.

Originality/Value: By doing so, the authors contribute to research about rituals, singularized objects, and love relationships. More importantly, this research contributes by demonstrating the need to enrich studies of consumers rituals with historical and cultural perspectives, and transdisciplinary investigations.



Borraz, S. (2019), "Love and Locks: Consumers Making Pilgrimages and Performing Love Rituals", Bajde, D., Kjeldgaard, D. and Belk, R.W. (Ed.) Consumer Culture Theory (Research in Consumer Behavior, Vol. 20), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 7-21.



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