We use the transitional and liminal stage when daughters enter adolescence to investigate how sharing practices within families are employed as a resource in identity work. We show the importance of “sharing in” within some French dyads, as a means for discovering new life projects and for rediscovering past identity projects driven by self-expressive motivations. In contrast, Japanese dyads are often reluctant to share personal possessions (sharing out) in order to maintain hierarchical relationships (affiliation motivations) and remain fashionably up-to-date (self-expressive motivations) in their identity work, and in their drive to maintain and prolong their mothering role. In order to better target adolescent girls’ mothers, retailers could develop more clothing appeals based on inter-generational approaches in France and intra-generational approaches in Japan.
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