Economic Rationality, Ethnic Identity, and the Geographies of Consumption

  • Lucia Lo
  • Lu Wang
Part of the GeoJournal Library book series (GEJL, volume 104)


Consumption research in geography illustrates the ongoing dialogue between the economic and the cultural. This paper examines consumer choice behavior of Chinese immigrants to Toronto to provide a hybrid view that emphasizes the role of ethnicity. Using a mixed methods approach that includes focus groups, field work, and surveys, it explores the relations between ethnic identity and economic rationality in immigrants’ choices of shopping outlets. In showing how shopping is saturated with cultural meanings, it reveals how their behavior contributes to the formation of unique ethnic retail environments.


Ethnic Identity Chinese Immigrant Travel Agency Grocery Shopping Chinese Business 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (Grant No. 410-2001-1093). We are grateful to all the participants in this research and wish them well in building their new lives in Canada.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyYork UniversityTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of GeographyRyerson UniversityTorontoCanada

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