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Goddesses of Consumerism: An Interpretivist Study of Young Female Consumers in Contemporary India

By Anoop Bhogal

Abstract

Marketing and consumer research scholars have paid little attention to the contemporary Indian consumer landscape, with even less focus on the particular experiences of female consumers in this context. This thesis contributes to a partial redress of this parochial and Eurocentric status quo in consumer culture research by presenting the voices and critically exploring the lived experiences of consumer culture of a sample of young female Indians. A selective review of the multidisciplinary literatures on globalization, consumer culture and India is used to develop a conceptual framework for this thesis, and to situate the research aims in contemporary and relevant scholarship. \ud The aims of the research are to understand and describe the meanings, values and lived experience of contemporary consumer culture of a sample of young female Indian consumers; to establish the extent to which, and describe how, global flows of culture serve to hinder, propagate or catalyze markers of distinction between rural and urban consumers; and to establish whether and how traditional belief systems and practices influence young consumers’ identity projects in contemporary Indian society. \ud In addressing these aims, the thesis documents the design and execution of a two month multi-method interpretive research study of twenty three young urban and rural women living in New Delhi and at its fringes. Through coding and categorisation, a reading of the data presents three key findings. Firstly, that media is an important medium through which notions of urban and rural identity and difference are constructed. Secondly it demonstrates how the body, as site of consumption, becomes tempered through Vedic ideals of womanhood. Thirdly, it presents a context specific understanding of consumer culture in the East which previous research has masked. Additionally, a data-driven framework for understanding the consumer experience of the sample of respondents is also presented

Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:lra.le.ac.uk:2381/9390

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