Traditionscapes in Emerging Markets: An Abstract
Tradition has been described in consumer studies as a powerful instrument for consumer identity construction even in a globalized consumer culture (Izberk-Bilgin 2012; Varman and Belk 2009; Türe and Ger 2016). In these terms, tradition can perform significant role in contemporary multicultural marketplaces (Cruz et al. 20017), cultural acceptability (Sinha and Sheth 2017), and brand evaluations and choices (Dogerlioglu-Demir et al. 2017). Drawing on these recent studies, we contribute to the literature exploring how consumers use tradition in fostering identity in an emerging market. Particularly, we shift the discussion involving tradition versus globalization to explore the traditionscapes, that is, a fluid consumer’s appropriation of certain traditions as a resource to build their identity at large in emerging markets. To explore this concept empirically, we adopt a multilevel approach involving qualitative and quantitative data collection with South Brazilian consumers connected with gaucho traditions. At the exploratory level, we identify three themes that describe consumers’ appropriation of certain tradition as a resource to build their identity: (1) cultural drives, (2) identity formation, and (3) tradition value. Even that in a symbolic way, tradition allows building a sense of belonging recognized as unique and locally accepted as source of identity. Following it, we observe that tradition serves as an indexical cue useful to deal with globalization flows and to express cultural attachment. At the confirmatory level, we conduct a survey with 600 participants at a gaucho tradition show. Results provide evidences for the qualitative predictions that tradition attachment is a cultural identity process and tradition value is influenced by the three levels of identity (regional, social, cultural). Findings indicate that traditionscapes is a relevant concept to describe the way consumers appropriate certain traditions as a resource to build their identity in emerging markets. We observe yet that consumers want to preserve traditional values in their identity projects not necessarily in opposition to global culture own. Discussions provide novel insights to marketers and local governments in considering the importance of traditionscapes when in emerging markets.
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