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Title: Who am I? : a cross-cultural study on Japanese-American biculturals' consumption preference towards hedonic and utilitarian products
Author: Moriuchi, Emi
ISNI:       0000 0004 2737 4723
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis examines the antecedents of felt ethnicity (i.e. how one feels towards one’s ethnic identity) within a sample of bicultural individuals living in Hawaii, and secondly investigates the relationship between felt ethnicity and purchasing intentions for products in two different categories, which are hedonic (e.g. emphasizing being able to enjoy the usage of a product such as a LouisVuitton handbag) and utilitarian (e.g. emphasizing the functionality of a product such as a pen or a notepad). The investigations consider conceptual and measurement issues surrounding the concept of felt ethnicity, the effects of ethnic-related brand names in priming different aspects of identity, and effects on biculturals’ product evaluation and purchasing intentions. The investigation draws upon theories of social identity and distinctiveness, and examines situational attributes such as whether the intended purchase is for friends or family members. This study consisted of a three-way experimental design experiment from a laboratory setting to examine the relationship among biculturals’ felt ethnicity, language cues and product types on purchasing intentions. A 2 felt ethnicity (Japanese and Japanese-American) x 2 language ethnic primes (Japanese vs. English) x 2 product types (Hedonic vs. Utilitarian) factorial design is featured to explore the role of social situations in the relationship of felt ethnicity and consumption (product preference and purchasing intentions). The sample consisted of 197 Japanese and Japanese-American biculturals; and the findings showed that consumer and product types and language cues are strong influences on product preferences and purchasing intentions. The more specific a bicultural is with his/her felt ethnicity, the clearer is the role of language cues in product preference, product evaluation and purchasing intentions. Social surroundings showed moderating effects between bicultural consumers’ felt ethnicity and purchasing intentions. These findings suggest that the use of language cues from various product types to reinforce their felt ethnicity (self-identity varies in different situations). This study makes a number of important theoretical and managerial contributions. First, this study clarifies the concept of bicultural felt ethnicity in respect of purchasing intentions, and reaffirms the concept of cultural frame switching using language cues as primes. In this way, the thesis presents a new conceptual model and resolves some measurement issues of felt ethnicity and three antecedents: self-acculturated identity, perceived parental identity (how one perceived his/her parents define their ethnic identity), social orientation (degree one socializes with people who of the same or different ethnicity with one’s own ethnic identity). Second, the findings suggest that felt ethnicity can be used as a tool to investigate biculturals in a global market and to facilitate market segmenting and communication. Finally, limitations of the thesis are recognised and direction for future research is proposed.
Supervisor: Cui, Charles; Jackson, Paul Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Bicultural ; Consumption Preference ; Hedonic ; Utilitarian ; Japanese-American