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Consumer empowerment in multicultural marketplaces: Navigating multicultural identities to reduce consumer vulnerability

Broderick, A.J. and Demangeot, Catherine and Adkins, Natalie Ross and Ferguson, Nakeisha S. and Henderson, Geraldine Rosa and Johnson, Guillaume and Kipnis, Eva and Mandiberg, James M. and Mueller, Rene Dentiste and Pullig, Chris and Roy, Abhijit and Zuñiga, Miguel (2011) Consumer empowerment in multicultural marketplaces: Navigating multicultural identities to reduce consumer vulnerability. Journal of Research for Consumers (19). ISSN 1444-6359

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Abstract

In the context of increasing cultural diversity, consumers are negotiating their identities and subsequent behaviours within multiple cultures and subcultures. Multicultural marketplaces include consumers from diverse ethnic groups, religious groups, nationalities, people living in particular geographic regions or groups that share common physical/mental disabilities, beliefs, values, attitudes or a way of life. Identity negotiations within a multicultural marketplace may present consumers with particular vulnerability challenges when a state of powerlessness arises from asymmetric marketplace exchange. Through the use of introspective vignettes, this paper identifies major categories of coping behaviours and shows that some coping strategies exacerbate and perpetuate vulnerabilities, while others prove beneficial and facilitate building resilience. The paper calls for an advocacy framework for consumer empowerment in multicultural marketplaces by developing a comprehensive framework of coping strategies that enhance consumer empowerment and resilience.