Handbag is an iconic fashion accessory in our material culture. Following the tradition of representational thinking, this article introduces the handbag as an epistemic consumption object through which to investigate consumer experiences, practices and identity construction in relation to everyday lived discourses. The handbag research involves an examination of participants’ personal belongings inside their bags together with phenomenological interviews concerning the associated subjective experiences along with these material objects. We demonstrate how these material possessions become the subject of the research that facilitates multiple conversations between researchers and participants as to introspect, evaluate and interpret the significance of symbolic consumption in their everyday life. This study contributes to proposing a systematic way of employing interpretive research methodology in the studies of material culture; in addition, this study on the handbag can act as an inspiration for others in identifying emerging themes and topics into symbolism in popular culture.
- Interpretive research