Home culture consumption as ambivalent embodied experience

Angela Gracia B. Cruz, Margo Buchanan-Oliver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: The consumer acculturation literature argues that reconstituting familiar embodied practices from the culture of origin leads to a comforting sense of home for consumers who move from one cultural context to another. This paper aims to extend this thesis by examining further dimensions in migrant consumers’ experiences of home culture consumption. Design/methodology/approach: This paper analyses data gathered through multi-modal depth interviews with Southeast Asian skilled migrants in New Zealand through the conceptual lens of embodiment. Findings: Building on Dion et al.’s (2011) framework of ethnic embodiment, the analysis uncovers home culture consumption as multi-layered experiences of anchoring, de-stabilisation and estrangement, characterised by convergence and divergence between the embodied dimensions of being-in-the-world, being-in-the-world with others and remembering being-in-the-world. Research limitations/implications: This paper underscores home culture consumption in migration as an ambivalent embodied experience. Further research should investigate how other types of acculturating consumers experience and negotiate the changing meanings of home. Practical implications: Marketers in migrant-receiving and migrant-sending cultural contexts should be sensitised to disjunctures in migrants’ embodied experience of consuming home and their role in heightening or mitigating these disjunctures. Originality/value: This paper helps contribute to consumer acculturation theory in two ways. First, the authors show how migrants experience not only comfort and connection but also displacement, in practices of home culture consumption. Second, the authors show how migrant communities do not only encourage cultural maintenance and gatekeeping but also contribute to cultural identity de-stabilisation.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages29
JournalEuropean Journal of Marketing
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • Consumer acculturation
  • Embodiment
  • Home
  • Long-term migration
  • Multi-modal methods

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