Extensive research in marketing has examined the effect of identity of consumer behavior, typically taking a simplified view of the self by examining one identity in isolation. But the self is not so simple: each consumer is a walking multitude of identity-based segments and the relationships among these identities can vary from consumer to consumer. In focusing on single identities, previous research has neglected the structure of the self, which emphasizes the relationships and organization of identities, rather than the content of the self (identities). The authors introduce the concept of self-structure, discuss how the variation from a unified self-structure to a more diverse self-structure has implications for consumers’ responses to identity conflict, and propose future research directions.
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