Acculturation and consumer behaviour: a study of British Indians

Vijaygopal, Rohini (2010). Acculturation and consumer behaviour: a study of British Indians. PhD thesis The Open University.



The phenomenon of acculturation and its impact on consumer behaviour in the UK merits greater scrutiny. With a changing national demographic landscape as the backdrop, this research seeks to investigate whether established theories of acculturation are applicable to British Indians and what impact this acculturation has on their consumer behaviour. The first aim of the research is to examine whether British Indians can be classified according to the acculturation framework devised by Berry (1980). The second involves questioning whether membership of these acculturation categories has a bearing on British Indians' consumer behaviour, as indicated by their brand preferences for a range of host and ethnic products and services. The third aim of the research is to examine the relationship between demographic factors and acculturation categories.

Using a literature review as the basis, the research uses a preliminary qualitative phase to develop and refine a final questionnaire which is then applied in a quantitative large-scale survey. The data collected from the survey are analysed using a range of statistical techniques including cluster analysis, CHAID, correlation analyses and ANOVA.

The results show that Berry's (1980) acculturation categories apply to British Indians, who follow similar patterns of acculturation to those observed elsewhere in the world amongst minority immigrant populations. These acculturation categories are shown to be the primary differentiators of brand preference amongst British Indians. The acculturation categories also have distinctive demographic profiles, adding to what is known about individuals within them.

The research contributes towards the study of consumer acculturation in the UK and has significant implications for academicians and practitioners.

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