This paper extends our understanding of the symbolic and experiential value of shopping. By exploring the narratives of consumers with visual impairments, consumer normalcy is shown to be an important value of shopping implicit in discussions of shopping experiences. The informants often achieve consumer normalcy, which they reveal consists of four dimensions: participating or being-in-the-marketplace (I am here), achieving distinction through the marketplace (I am me), demonstrating competence and control (I am in control), and being perceived as an equal in the marketplace (I belong). The consumer normalcy construct reveals to readers how shopping experiences contribute to identity and the tension between acceptance by others and individual agency. Reality differs between informants, but their collective realities inform how consumers realize their self and consumption aspirations by shopping.
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