Full text: Semantics of ownership

felt that the Western derived property laws were unjust in 
the context of Korean culture. Other instances of conflict 
between formal and folk conceptions of ownership can be 
found in the popular press, e.g. the foreclosure of family 
farms in Canada over the past few years. 
A social-psychological study of ownership might be 
useful in understanding such differences and perhaps in 
contributing to resolutions. The goal of the present study 
was to explore the meaning of ownership held by an adult 
population. This involved examining what might be 
semantically entailed by ownership. "To own" has been 
defined as meaning "to possess; to have or hold as property" 
(Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, 1961, p. 601), but 
"owning" may be perceived as entailing other relationships 
between people and property, some possibly to a greater 
degree than "possessing" , "having", and "holding" 3 alse. 
efforts were made to explore both Coral meanings of 
ownership and more typical, day-to-day meanings, as well as 
the manners in which the two modes of meaning might differ. 
This was done in the first instance by asking subjects to 
judge the merit of various criteria of ownership as general 
arguments that something is owned by SOMEONE The more 
typical meanings of ownership were examined by instructing 
subjects to do recall tasks concerning what they own and to 
then judge the applicability of the criteria to the recall

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