Religiosity and the construction of a cultural-consumption identity

Lindridge, Andrew (2005). Religiosity and the construction of a cultural-consumption identity. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 22(3) pp. 142–152.



Abstract: Purpose – Religion's influence in consumer research remains under-researched. This paper aims to explore religiosity's effect on culture and consumption by comparing Indians living in Britain, with Asian Indians and British Whites. The paper is relevant to both academics and practitioners who wish to understand the role of religion's influence regarding culturally determined consumer behaviours.
Design/methodology/approach – A questionnaire measuring family, self-identity, materialism, possessions as status symbols and reference groups was administrated in London and Mumbai. Religiosity was measured by religious institution attendance and the importance of religion in daily life. A total of 415 questionnaires were submitted to factor analysis, identifying six factors. These factors were then submitted to Multinomial Logistical Regression (MLR), with the two religiosity themes used as influencing variables on the factors.
Findings – The analysis indicated that Indians living in Britain and British Whites sample groups were culturally less group- and consumption-oriented than Asian Indians. Declining levels of religiosity produced mixed results for Indians living in Britain, when compared to Asian Indians, indicating that: attendance at a religious institution is not akin to viewing religion as an important aspect of daily life, a diversity of religiosity determined consumer behaviours across the Indian sample groups, and religion is an acculturation agent. The research, however, is limited owing to the small sample group and the need to maintain cross-cultural methodologies.
Originality/value – Marketing practitioners should recognise the importance of religion in culture in Eastern cultures, while in Western cultures they should focus on the centrality and the need to use consumption to maintain the individual's sense of individuality.

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