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Title: Does luxury shopping trigger tourists' pride? : expanding the theory of self-conscious emotions towards Chinese
Authors: Yeung, Man Wah
Degree: Ph.D.
Issue Date: 2019
Abstract: Tourists who shop for luxury brands while travelling feel proud of travelling to destinations with such brands on offer. Recognised as part of human nature and according to the theory of self-conscious emotions, pride can be conceived of as a distinct motivation for certain behaviours, including luxury brand consumption. This characterisation of pride arguably applies especially to Chinese people, whose collectivist culture informs their processes of self-evaluation and encourages them to pursue luxury shopping even to the extent that it drives destination decision making and contributes significantly to revenues achieved at those destinations. This thesis aims to expand on the theory of self-conscious emotions by using qualitative inquiry to gain insights into the contents and mechanisms of pride in the context of luxury shopping among Chinese tourists. Finally, this thesis aims to provide a theoretical framework of self-conscious emotions in tourism context for future research proposals. Following a methodological approach based on constructivist grounded theory, 17 Chinese participants were chosen for intensive interviews undertaken during a pilot study, after which 27 additional participants from four top tier cities in China (Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen) who shopped for luxury brands in Hong Kong were interviewed for the main study. An episodic recall task with seven photographs of prototypical pride expressions was used in the interviews to support data collection. Results revealed that Chinese tourists in Hong Kong gain adaptive benefits of authentic pride (e.g., confidence and satisfaction) via peer recognition, personal ability, and recognition, as well as achieving their dreams, accomplishing life goals and establishing long-term memory bonding; all of which can trigger feelings of pride, particularly authentic pride. The thesis explores how a destination provides tourists in the Chinese contexts with a platform to achieve goals congruent with luxury product prices, the products and services sought, their available travel time, their purpose of travel, their ability to travel and their memory recall. The thesis reveals that Chinese tourists can easily feel pride when coming into contact with luxury brands whilst travelling. Although respondents valued the sorts of authentic pride attached to complacency and naturalness, they frowned upon hubristic pride, which they associated with shame. More broadly, the thesis's application and development of constructivist grounded theory's construct of self-consciousness and the theory of self-conscious emotions in tourism supported by abductive reasoning contribute to a framework applicable both to researchers interested in shopping tourism or China-outbound tourism and practitioners of China-outbound tourism and hospitality.
Subjects: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Tourists -- China -- Attitudes
Brand name products -- Social aspects
Consumer behavior
Luxuries -- Social aspects
Pages: viii, 287 pages : color illustrations
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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