Ethnic consumer decision making

Authored by: Yasmin K. Sekhon

The Routledge Companion to Ethnic Marketing

Print publication date:  June  2015
Online publication date:  June  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415643634
eBook ISBN: 9780203080092
Adobe ISBN: 9781136164224


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This chapter aims to explore the influences and main characteristics of ethnic consumer decision making and what factors, whether directly or indirectly, influence the decisions made. Globally, we have witnessed a rapidly expanding multicultural landscape. With the growth in Hispanic, African American, Asian American, Black and ethnic minorities (BME), understanding ethnic decision making is vital for many. The rise in migrant numbers over the years is considerable, as is the change in the type of migration – from flows of people in particular eras to ‘more people are now moving from more places, through more places, to more places’ (Vertovec 2010, p. 86). The migration scene has changed with larger groups migrating in the mid-1950s to late- 1970s from countries such as India, Pakistan and Africa to more recently smaller groups moving from one country to another. Understanding ethnic consumption and decision making is more challenging. The traditional distinct attributes of ethnic groups have become blurred; in addition, transnationalism blurs the boundaries further. Also Venkatesh draws attention to the role of ethnicity: ‘Ethnicity becomes a cultural condition with profound consequences to the nature of consumption experiences among different people’ (1995, p. 36).

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