Symbolic and Experiential Consumption of Body in Virtual Worlds: from (Dis)Embodiment to Symembodiment

Symbolic and Experiential Consumption of Body in Virtual Worlds: from (Dis)Embodiment to Symembodiment

<Journal of Virtual research> Vol. 1. No. 2 ISSN: 1941-8477

“Virtual Worlds Research: Consumer Behavior in Virtual Worlds” November 2008

By

Handan Vicdan, College of Business Administration, The University of Texas-Pan American;Ebru Ulusoy, College of Business Administration, The University of Texas-Pan American

Virtual worlds subvert the oneness or singleness of the identity.

Yet, the technological and cultural changes mentioned earlier heat up the debate of the non-resolvable fate of the body in the virtual world. Scholars (Hansen, 2006; Madden, 1993;Takayoshi, 1994; Turkle, 1995) have contested the idea of the body becoming futile in the virtual world, and advocated the indispensable role of embodiment in any human experience, therefore rejecting the notion of the Cartesian body-mind separation. Embodiment or corporality ought to be present in identity processes (e.g. self-presentation) (Rook, 1985) and serve as a moderator in social interactions (Stryker, 1980) through the ways one experiences and deploys his/her body (Domzal & Kernan, 1993).

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