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Title: Emotional voices and acculturation : a dialogical examination of role of fashion discourses in the (re)configuration of local and migrant consumer identities
Authors: Lam, Man Lok
Degree: Ph.D.
Issue Date: 2017
Abstract: This aim of this thesis is to examine how local and migrant consumers resolve identity conflicts and social tension through symbolic consumption as narrated in their acculturation experiences. When people encountered others from different sociocultural backgrounds, they may experience uncertainty and pressure to change in adapting to the conflicting identity negotiation and the (re)configuration of social relationships. In proposing a dialogical approach to consumer acculturation, this study reveals how consumers manage multiple, and even conflicting, voices within their inner selves and the counterpoint of different worldviews from others. The theoretical framework of this thesis echoes key theoretical approaches to consumer acculturation and dialogical self-theory. This qualitative study employed ethnographic methods and phenomenological interviewing techniques in researching consumer acculturation experiences connected to urbanization in Guangzhou, China. I pay attention to the feelings aroused in encounters with difference and the exercises of agency for social distinction through fashion-clothing consumption and style projects. The findings and discussions highlight that 1) consumers' emotional attachment to "homeland" and social memories in pre-acculturation experiences engage in a dialogue with past, present, or even future "other I-positions"; 2) everyday encounters with difference articulate emotional voices between local and migrant consumers in the acculturation process, in which individuals from both groups struggle to refigure, or refiguring, their multiple selves and to create distinctions against immediate and imagined otherness in their fashion choices; 3) four types of assumed emotion were exhibited in which consumers ascribed collective social meanings to their consumption choices in order to assert their identities as well as to resolve uncertainties and conflicts. This study deepens our understanding of the role of emotional voices in determining the strategies consumers use to navigate multiple and conflicting voices in the play of signs and meanings through their fashion choices and image consumption.
Subjects: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Consumer behavior -- Psychological aspects
Consumption (Economics) -- Psychological aspects
Fashion merchandising
Pages: ix, 156 pages : color illustrations
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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