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Writing a life story for older people: conceptual foundations, dimensioning and proposal of a scale for measuring motivations for life stories

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International audience This article concerns a relatively unknown phenomenon in marketing that has become, however, extremely popular among older adults: legacy writing. While the writing of "ego-documents" has been the subject of many studies in gerontology, sociology and, above all, literature, research in marketing has yet to examine its specific components. The purpose of this article is to identify the concept of legacy writing and propose an initial scale to the academic and managerial community for measuring the motivations underlying this practice. Two sets of data collected with questionnaires (202 and 508 responses) have been used to develop and confirm the validity of a scale consisting in twenty items, divided into six dimensions (flattering the ego, mending the ego, being remembered, sharing, transmitting, and bearing witness). This research offers a contribution to the theoretical corpus on special objects and intergenerational transmission. It demonstrates that the meaning of a special object is not exclusively restricted to symbolic references that may be lost or denatured, but others that are explicit and inscribed at the very core of the object.

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