Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Protecting The Nest Egg: Special Gifts Have Symbolic Value

Date:
January 26, 2009
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
Gifts passed on from one generation of family members to the next are worth more than their monetary value, according to a new study. Those gifts carry the symbolic value attributed to them by the family's traditions, lore, and heritage.

Don't cash out Grandma's savings bond. Gifts passed on from one generation of family members to the next are worth more than their monetary value, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research. Those gifts carry the symbolic value attributed to them by the family's traditions, lore, and heritage.

It's not just stuff or money when it comes from a special relative or has a meaningful story behind it, writes author Tonya Williams Bradford (University of Notre Dame). Assets that have "symbolic value serve to nurture family ties from the past into the future."

Bradford found that gifts from family members have great symbolic value and are treated with care. Certain funds can be separated out as "special money" that has significance within the family. The author demonstrated that even gifts of assets, which can easily be appraised and sold, often become symbolic when passed from one generation to another, and that they are frequently treated differently than equivalent assets that were not received from a parent or grandparent.

"Labels are not only ascribed to gifted assets, but are transferred from past to future generations through family caretakers who nurture both the symbolic meaning and market values of the gifted assets," the author writes. She also learned that certain assets are often considered surrogate family members. She also discovered that families sustain their heritage by imposing hierarchies on assets.

Since baby boomers are presently the wealthiest generation in American history, they are expected to initiate the largest wealth transfer ever in coming years. Givers of assets may consider the ways they can help label and transform the assets into the more meaningful (inalienable) kind of wealth to better preserve the family legacy, while recipients may become more aware and observant of how they choose to nurture the symbolic exchange value of the gifted assets.

"These findings expand our understanding of and create new opportunities to examine how individuals employ a special form of possessions—inalienable wealth as assets—including how individuals choose to part with assets, a choice necessary for the well-being of all economies." The author concludes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Bradford et al. Intergenerationally Gifted Asset Dispositions. Journal of Consumer Research, Print edition: June 2009; 081210114951078 DOI: 10.1086/596304

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Protecting The Nest Egg: Special Gifts Have Symbolic Value." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 January 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090126104359.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2009, January 26). Protecting The Nest Egg: Special Gifts Have Symbolic Value. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090126104359.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Protecting The Nest Egg: Special Gifts Have Symbolic Value." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090126104359.htm (accessed August 27, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Have You Ever Been 'Sleep Drunk?' 1 in 7 Has

Have You Ever Been 'Sleep Drunk?' 1 in 7 Has

Newsy (Aug. 26, 2014) A study published in the journal "Neurology" interviewed more than 19,000 people and found 15 percent suffer from being "sleep drunk." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Does Medical Marijuana Reduce Painkiller Overdose Deaths?

Does Medical Marijuana Reduce Painkiller Overdose Deaths?

Newsy (Aug. 26, 2014) A new study found fewer deaths from prescription drug overdoses in states that have legalized medical marijuana. But experts disagree on the results. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Heart Group: E-Cigarettes May Help Smokers Quit

Heart Group: E-Cigarettes May Help Smokers Quit

AP (Aug. 25, 2014) The American Heart Association's first policy statement on electronic cigarettes backs them as a last resort to help smokers quit and calls for more regulation to keep them away from youth. (Aug. 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Push For Later Start Times As School Year Kicks Off

Doctors Push For Later Start Times As School Year Kicks Off

Newsy (Aug. 25, 2014) The American Academy of Pediatrics is the latest group pushing for middle schools and high schools to start later, for the sake of their kids. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins