To read this content please select one of the options below:

From West to East: British sojourners’ acculturation in China

Qionglei Yu (Kent Business School, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK)
Dorothy A. Yen (Brunel University, London, UK)
Benedetta Cappellini (Royal Holloway, University of London, London, UK)
Cheng Lu Wang (Department of Marketing and Quantitative Analysis, University of New Haven, West Haven, Connecticut, USA)

International Marketing Review

ISSN: 0265-1335

Article publication date: 28 August 2019

Issue publication date: 22 July 2021




The previous literature has often focussed on Asian migrants’ acculturation to western cultures with data collected in the western contexts. The purpose of this paper is to explore western consumers’ acculturation to East Asian cultures and their consumption behaviour, which fulfils the research scarcity in this area.


This study was conducted via carrying out in-depth interviews with 18 British sojourners in China, exploring how they acculturated to Chinese culture, with a particular focus on their food and media consumption choices. This study applied inductive qualitative data analysis to build on but explore beyond existing theory.


The findings show that British consumers display a diversified acculturation strategy towards different products. They present an integrative approach to food consumption with a negotiable identity to host culture value whilst they adopt a separated approach relating to traditional media consumption, showing a non-negotiable consumption stance. They apply an assimilated approach for pragmatic reasons in terms of social media adoption.


British sojourners in China hold a different cultural stance in different areas of consumption. The study contributes to existing theory by arguing the complexity of a continuous negotiation process between different value systems in sojourning consumers’ consumption choices, which existing acculturation models have not yet examined. By emphasising the context speciality, the findings give marketers clear marketing implications when targeting sojourning consumers who declare their value stance via consumption practice.



Yu, Q., Yen, D.A., Cappellini, B. and Wang, C.L. (2021), "From West to East: British sojourners’ acculturation in China", International Marketing Review, Vol. 38 No. 4, pp. 671-689.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles