The paper aims to understand how Eastern spiritual and Western secular traditions coexist in the US commercial marketplace and what lessons spiritual messages of Eastern wisdom offer Western consumers.
The paper uses qualitative methods by engaging in close reading and analysis of the narratives on food and drink packages that have a direct reference to Eastern spirituality in the form of symbolic Eastern vocabulary and images.
The paper proposes that artful sacralization of the spiritual to brand the mundane is an additional mode of cultural production used by marketers, and that this proposed mode extends the two modes (sacralization of the mundane and commodification of the spiritual) reported in previous studies.
The relationship between Eastern spirituality and Western commercialism deserves more in-depth studies. For example, how does the Western treatment of Eastern spirituality affect its perceived authenticity and purity? Finally, what do the newly wise Westerners do with mastery of an Eastern science of life?
This work finds Western supermarkets to be emerging channels of Eastern spirituality. The author argues that narratives on food and drink packages perform as carriers of Eastern wisdom.
The author also finds that the borrowed spiritual wisdom of the East has yet to be reconciled with the prevailing secular norms of Western society.
This has been the first known academic attempt to explore the spiritual connotation of the labels on branded food and drink packages sold in Western supermarkets.
CitationDownload as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited