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Signaling socially responsible consumption among millennials: an identity-based perspective

Olivia Johnson (University of Houston, Houston, Texas, USA)
Veena Chattaraman (Department of Consumer and Design Sciences, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, USA)

Social Responsibility Journal

ISSN: 1747-1117

Article publication date: 29 January 2020

Issue publication date: 22 January 2021




Using identity theory, this paper aims to explore differences in socially responsible signaling behavior based on the salience of a personal or social identity.


Structural equation modeling was used to study the relationship among identity commitment, salience, and signaling behavior.


Findings revealed personal identity salience mediated the relationship between socially responsible commitment and socially responsible social-signaling consumption behavior.

Practical implications

The results of the study suggest that Millennials engage in socially responsible activities as a result of a salient personal identity. Millennials use socially responsible behavior to signal their benevolence to themselves and others.


This is the first research that has examined the relationship between Millennials’ socially responsible consumption behavior and a salient personal or social identity.



Johnson, O. and Chattaraman, V. (2021), "Signaling socially responsible consumption among millennials: an identity-based perspective", Social Responsibility Journal, Vol. 17 No. 1, pp. 87-105.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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