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Chapter 13

Culture and Popular Culture

Consumer Behavior: A
John C. Mowen
Michael S. Minor
Key Concepts
 Culture  Rituals
 Role of consumer
goods in culture
 Popular culture
 Core American  Examples of
values popular culture
 Belief systems,  Fashion and
global and domain-
specific values, fashion trends
evaluating product  Formation of
attributes popular culture
Culture Includes:
 The Material Objects of a Society
 Ideas and Values
 Institutions
 Symbols
 The Ways We Dress, Think, Eat, and
Spend Our Leisure Time
Culture . . .

. . . is a learned behavior.
Enculturation is learning
one’s own culture.
Acculturation is learning a
new culture.
Cultural Identification . . .

. . . refers to the society in which a

person prefers to live.

 It is attitudinal in contrast to
acculturation, which is behavioral.
Culture . . .
. . . is adaptive, i.e. it changes as a
society faces new problems and
. . . satisfies needs by providing norms
(rules of behavior)...
. . . provides values which delineate
what is right, good, and important to a
Components of Culture
 Norms are more specific than values
and dictate acceptable and
unacceptable behaviors
 Two General Types of Norms Exist:
 Enacted Norms are those norms that are
explicitly expressed, sometimes as laws.
 Cresive Norms are embedded into culture
and are learned through interaction with the
people of the culture.
Three Types of Cresive

 Customs

 Mores

 Conventions
Myths . . .
. . . are stories that express key values
and ideals of a society.

 Myths help to:

 Explain the origins of existence

 Reveal a set of values for the society

 Provide models for personal conduct

The Cultural Matrix...


Institutional/Social Environment
Cultural Meanings . . .

. . . refer to the
values, norms,
and shared beliefs
that are
Transferring Cultural

Advertising, Consumer
Culture Fashion Goods

Rituals Individuals
Cultural Values . . .

. . . represent the
shared meanings
of ideal end
states and modes
of conduct
Types of Cultural Values...
 Global values consist of enduring beliefs
about desired states of existence.
 Domain-specific values are beliefs
pertaining to more concrete
consumption activities.
Value-Attitude System

Evaluations of
Global Values Domain-Specific
Product Attributes
(dozens) Values (hundreds)

More Centrally Held Less Centrally Held

Central-Peripheral Continuum
continued. . .
 Means-end Chain Models
 Linkages between consumer desires for
features and abstract concepts - benefits,
 Laddering

Linkages between means (attributes) and
terminal values (end states).
The LOV Scale
 Values:
 are consistent over time.
 influence attitudes, which influence
 may change more among females than
among males.
 change more among the young.
 the need to be “well-respected” may have
decreased over time.
Materialism Values
 Materialistic themes are stable over time.
 Types of materialism:
 Instrumental – desire to possess a good to perform
some activity.
 Terminal – desire to possess good as end in itself.
 Women are more sharing, less materialistic.
 Cross-cultural differences in materialism exist.
Cultural Rituals . . .
. . . are socially
sequences of
actions that are
repeated, provide
meaning, and
involve the use of
cultural symbols.
Rituals vs. Habits...

 Rituals are prescribed by society, habits

by the individual.
 People are more consciously aware of
 Rituals embody more symbolic meaning
and affect.
A Typology of Ritual
 Cosmological - religious, aesthetic
 Cultural - graduation, marriage
 Group - Memorial Day parade, fraternity
initiation, business negotiations
 Individual - Grooming, household rituals
 Biological - Greeting, mating
Elements of a Ritual...
 Artifacts
 Scripts
 Performance Roles
 Audience
Four Specific Types of
 Exchange Rituals

 Possession Rituals

 Grooming Rituals

 Divestment
Rituals and products...
 Beauty Ritual
 Attempts are being made to get men to accept
multiple cosmetic products.
 The “small worlds” of rituals –
 Rituals are catalysts for construction of social
 Facilities and events facilitating
interconnections between customers have a
better chance of success.
Cultural Symbols
 Symbols are
entities that
represent ideas
and concepts

 It can be argued
that people
Popular Culture . . .
. . . is the culture of mass appeal and
has the following characteristics:
 It taps into the experiences and values of a
significant portion of the population
 It does not require any special knowledge to
understand it
 It is produced so that large numbers of
people have easy access to it
 It most frequently influences behavior that
does not involve work or sleep
Examples of Popular
 Advertising
 Television
 Music
 Fashion
Fashion Trend
◆ Type
• Cyclical
• Classic
◆ Speed
• Fad or longer-
◆ Turning Points
• Technological or
cultural barriers
◆ Degree of
Managerial Implications
 Positioning. Link products with cultural
 Environmental Analysis. Scanning is
critical to understanding changes in
culture and popular culture, both here
and abroad.
 Research. Marketing research can help
identify changes in values and resulting
needs for changes in promotion.
Implications continued
 Marketing Mix. Identify core values and
anticipate which core values won’t
translate well abroad.
 Segmentation. Identify segments of
consumers who respond well to a
certain product and positioning
strategy. Cultural icons such as popular
singers don’t appeal to all segments.