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Acculturation to the global consumer culture and ethnic identity : an empirical study in Lebanon

By Ranim Hallab


Today's world is affected in all its aspects, including consumers' behaviors and attitudes, by the activities representing globalization. With respect to global media, technology, and traveling activities, the whole world is becoming one single market, containing diverse cultures, with similar consumer needs. A wide body of research has demonstrated that culture significantly affects consumer behavior. Thus it is important for marketing managers to examine the effects of global consumer culture on today's consumers' consumption patterns. This helps them know when and where to standardize or localize their marketing strategies and plans of actions regarding consumer behavior, communication, and retailing, and when, where, and how to blend both standardization and adaptation. With fast developing economies, international business activities have been growing very fast recently in the Middle-East in general; therefore, in order to extend the research boundaries and break the North American bias in the literature, Lebanon is the focus of the present's study to connect acculturation to global consumer culture (AGCC) and ethnic identity (EID) to consumer behavior. In addition, the present study links AGCC and EID to other constructs such as ethnocentrism (CET), materialism (MAT), religiosity (REL), demographics, and Schwartz's Value Dimensions (SVD). It turns out that the Lebanese population is slightly acculturated above average score to the global consumer culture, yet still very attached to their traditions. Moreover, AGCC and EID are negatively related, where the former construct positively affects global food and consumption, while the latter influences (a) positively local food and clothing consumption and (b) negatively luxury good consumption. In addition, AGCC shows a (1) negative relationship with CET and a positive relationship with MAT respectively, while EID shows positive relationships with each of CET, MAT, and REL. As to SVD, AGCC is found to be positively related to openness to change, self-transcendence, and self-enhancement, while EID is found to be positively related to conservation, self-transcendence, and self-enhancement. The study concludes that marketing managers should adapt their strategies for culture-bound products and standardize their strategies for culture-free products (except for luxury goods) in Lebanon. Limitations and directions for future research are highlighted as well

Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:

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