Russell W. Belk

My research involves the meanings of possessions, collecting, gift-giving, sharing, and materialism. This work is often cultural, visual, qualitative, and interpretive. By understanding what our possessions mean to us after we acquire them, how different cultures, past and present, regard consumption, and how we relate to each other through possessions, it is my belief that we learn something more profound and practical than simply asking how we evaluate alternative marketplace offerings. In a consumer society, our ideas about ourselves are often bound up or represented in what we desire, what we own, and how we use these things.