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Consumer Acculturation

Part 3. Consumer Behavior

  1. Lisa Peñaloza

Published Online: 15 DEC 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444316568.wiem03004

Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing

Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing

How to Cite

Peñaloza, L. 2010. Consumer Acculturation. Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing. 3.

Author Information

  1. Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales du Nord, Lille, France

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2010


Consumer acculturation is defined as the general process of adaptation by consumers in the marketplace. Its scope is broad, in examining social and market learning and interaction at individual, family, community, societal, and transnational levels. Consumer research challenges include distinguishing consumption practices with and among groups and calibrating change; while marketing challenges center on learning to serve consumers of various cultures and address them in ways sensitive to relations between groups. The issue is to better understand the role of business in separating, uniting, legitimizing, and excluding groups of people, as tailoring products and services to the mainstream advances its dominance, even as targeting groups outside a cultural mainstream enables their members to reproduce vital cultural patterns and meanings and thrive. Carried further, acculturation research can provide insight into the identity and vitality of nations by generating insight into the nature of consumer and marketer relations and the role of markets in drawing upon and reproducing difference. Challenges in public policy entail effectively dealing with the tendency of one group to restrict the language and cultural expressions of others who are “different” in developing more inclusive service provision. The entry closes with suggestions for further research.


  • acculturation;
  • cultural adaptation;
  • immigrant consumption;
  • minority consumption;
  • immigrant marketing;
  • minority marketing;
  • market diversity