Are we fooling ourselves when we talk about ethnic homogeneity? The case of religion and ethnic sub-divisions amongst Indians living in Britain

Lindridge, Andrew (2010). Are we fooling ourselves when we talk about ethnic homogeneity? The case of religion and ethnic sub-divisions amongst Indians living in Britain. Journal of Marketing Management, 26(5/6) pp. 441–472.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02672571003633644

Abstract

This paper addresses previous calls for research to investigate the relationship between acculturation, consumption, and religion. Specifically, this paper argues that previous research investigating these relationships amongst ethnic minorities may have deliberately ignored religious differences for convenience. This paper investigates Indians living in Britain, drawn from India’s three main religions: Hinduism, Islam, and Sikhism. Using an ethno-consumerist framework, we interviewed sixteen, second-generation Indian women living in Britain, who were matched in terms of their acculturation, socio-economic backgrounds, and level of religiosity. The data analysis showed subtle but important divergences between the religions, with Hindu participants’ religion having little influence on their consumption, whilst Sikh participants consumed products that affirmed an ethnic rather than religious identity. In contrast, Muslim participants consumed products that they felt rejected their Indian cultural identity and affirmed their British and Muslim identities. A number of marketing findings and limitations are presented.

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