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Publication date: 3 April 2018

Bidit Lal Dey, John M.T. Balmer, Ameet Pandit and Mike Saren

The purpose of this paper is to examine how young British South Asian adults’ dual cultural identity is exhibited and reaffirmed through the appropriation of selfies.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how young British South Asian adults’ dual cultural identity is exhibited and reaffirmed through the appropriation of selfies.

Design/methodology/approach

The research adopts a qualitative perspective and utilises a combination of in-depth interviews and netnographic data.

Findings

The appropriation of the selfie phenomenon by young British South Asian adults reifies, endorses and reinforces their dual cultural identity. As such, their dual cultural identity is influenced by four factors: consonance between host and ancestral cultures, situational constraints, contextual requirements and convenience.

Research limitations/implications

In terms of the selfie phenomenon, the study makes two major contributions: first, it analyses young British South Asian adults’ cultural dualism. Second, it explicates how their acculturation and their dual cultural identity are expressed through the appropriation of the selfie phenomenon.

Practical implications

Since young British South Asians represent a significant, and distinct, market, organisations serving this market can marshal insights from this research. As such, managers who apprise themselves of the selfie phenomenon of this group are better placed to meet their consumer needs. Account, therefore, should be taken of their twofold cultural identity and dual British/Asian identification. In particular, consideration should be given to their distinct and demonstrable traits apropos religiosity and social, communal, and familial bonding. The characteristics were clearly evident via their interactions within social media. Consequently, senior marketing managers can utilise the aforementioned in positioning their organisations, their brands and their products and services.

Originality/value

The study details a new quadripartite framework for analysing young British South Asian adults’ acculturation that leads to the formation of their dual cultural identity and presents a dynamic model that explicates how cultural identity is expressed through the use and appropriation of technology.

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