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Book cover: Advances in International Marketing

Advances in International Marketing

ISSN: 1474-7979
Series editor(s): Professor Shaoming Zou

Subject Area: Marketing

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The Movement of Meaning Across Cultures: A Conceptual Model for Understanding Cross-Cultural Consumption


Document Information:
Title:The Movement of Meaning Across Cultures: A Conceptual Model for Understanding Cross-Cultural Consumption
Author(s):Helene de Burgh-Woodman
Volume:23 Editor(s): K. Scott Swan, Shaoming Zou ISBN: 978-1-78190-016-1 eISBN: 978-1-78190-017-8
Citation:Helene de Burgh-Woodman (2012), The Movement of Meaning Across Cultures: A Conceptual Model for Understanding Cross-Cultural Consumption, in K. Scott Swan, Shaoming Zou (ed.) Interdisciplinary Approaches to Product Design, Innovation, & Branding in International Marketing (Advances in International Marketing, Volume 23), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.281-304
DOI:10.1108/S1474-7979(2012)0000023018 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article type:Chapter Item
Abstract:This chapter asks the questions of whether traditional marketing tools and practices are sufficiently reflexive to deal in the international environment and how we might refine our understanding of cross-cultural environments. Starting from the vantage point that “international” occurs within national boundaries rather than across them, this chapter conducts a qualitative ethnographic study of Arabic and North African people who participate in a visible “street culture” on the streets of France. This ethnographic project models consumption habits in these groups. It asks why they consume certain things, what value or meaning discourses are articulated through these things within their group, and what cultural, social, or personal relevance or symbolism this kind of consumption represents. It also unravels the broader social discourses spun out of these symbolisms and “meaning-makings.” Based on the data discussed, a conceptual model is then offered to explain the process the marketing message undergoes and how meaning is transformed when taken from one cultural context to another. Some conclusions are drawn on how postcolonial analysis provides a new tool for our understanding and practice of international marketing.

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