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Abstract

Quantitative and qualitative techniques are used to investigate both the content and structure of consumer-constructed stories about gift exchanges. The findings elaborate gender differences that predominate the process. Females perceive their chosen gift exchange relationships as significantly more intimate than do males. Females frame the exchanges significantly more often in the context of formal celebratory ritualized gift exchange occasions than males. Males inject more fantasy into stories of gift exchanges than females. Coded measures of the elaboration of the projective stories reveal a significant interaction between gender and assigned role as giver or receiver of a gift, with female receivers having the most to say about their gifts. Several interpretive propositions related to gift exchanges are proposed. © 1995 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.