Globalization, reflexivity and the project of the self : a virtual intercultural learning process

Jafari, Aliakbar and Goulding, Christina (2015) Globalization, reflexivity and the project of the self : a virtual intercultural learning process. In: New Directions in Consumer Research. Sage Publications Ltd, London, pp. 259-289. ISBN 9781473911536

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Abstract

In this paper, we examine the consumption practices of young adult Iranians in the context of cultural globalization. Based on analysis of qualitative data collected through participatory observation, in-depth interviews and focus groups with 28 individuals in Tehran and Karaj, we demonstrate how, through its cultural flow (circulation of images, signs, products, etc.) globalization stimulates reflexivity in ‘an ongoing process of virtual intercultural learning’ through which people reconstitute their lives and change their everyday consumption practices and lifestyle choices. The key contribution of the study lies in the fact that it examines consumers’ subjective consumption experiences in a society where the traditional/institutional dynamics enforce their own values and ideal lifestyles on individuals.