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Consumer Multiculturation: Consequences of Multicultural Identity Dynamics for Consumption

KIPNIS, YEVA (2015) Consumer Multiculturation: Consequences of Multicultural Identity Dynamics for Consumption. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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As national markets of many countries around the world continue evolving as arenas of ‘lived multiculture’ (Neal et al., 2013), it becomes crucial for marketers to know how to align their activities to the complex sociocultural dynamics in consumer spheres. Individual identities “continually evolve overtime” (Kleine and Kleine, 2000: p279) and can be transformed through one’s life experiences. Resultant from these transformations, varying and composite identities emerge that integrate a range of differing, complex cultural dispositions and drive consumer desires for this diversity to be visualised in cultural meanings of brands. Hence, understanding whether and how cultural identity dispositions form and evolve as a result of one’s being in lived multiculture environment is crucial for the study of culture-informed consumption. While there has been sustained interest in cultural identity complexities of ethnic migrants, considerations of identity transitions of mainstream consumers (i.e. non-migrant, locally born) so far have been predominantly restricted to local-global culture dichotomy. Since international marketing theory generally is concerned with wider consumer audiences than a particular ethnic segment, the mainstream/migrant population divide is increasingly regarded unhelpful (Jamal, 2003; Schroeder, 2009; Luedicke, 2011).
This thesis explains theoretically how acquiring a holistic, integrative perspective on the multiple types of cultures at play in complex cultural identity transformations occurring across consumer groups can provide insights into intricacies of culture-bound consumption trends and inform closer alignment of culture-based branding theory and practice with lived multiculture realities. The study conceptualises the multicultural marketplace as a multidimensional environment where consumers are exposed to a diverse range of global, local and foreign cultural meanings simultaneously and deploy these meanings for (re)construal of identity. Next, extending acculturation theory, it develops a theory of Consumer Multiculturation, taking account of eight diverse types of cultural identities that can evolve from being in a multicultural marketplace. The results support the proposition that consumers deploy local, global and/or foreign cultures differentially and in varying combinations to derive a sense of unicultural, bicultural or multicultural self, and that complexities of derived identity elicit equally complex and different responses to cultural meanings of brands.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Multicultural marketplaces; multicultural identity dynamics and consumption; culture-based consumer brand response and branding
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Economics, Finance and Business, School of
Thesis Date:2015
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:27 Mar 2015 09:32

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