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Culture What is Culture? The sum total of learned beliefs, values, and customs that serve to direct the consumer behavior of members of a particular society. A society’s personality. Beliefs, Values, Customs Beliefs Knowledge, perceptions about specific product or consumption situation. Large number of beliefs. Values Global perceptions widely accepted by society; serve as a guide for behavior. Relatively few values. Customs Overt modes of behavior that constitute culturally approved or acceptable ways of behaving in specific situations. Components of Culture External, material culture. – Tangible objects of our world. Internal, mental culture. – Ideas and points of view Knowledge system Belief and value system Social normative system Social Normative System The system of rules, standards of conduct, rewards, and punishment in a culture. Norms – Fads – Folkways – Mores – Laws Sanctions Characteristics of Culture Culture is learned. – Through language and symbols. – Formal, informal, and technical learning. – Enculturation. – Acculturation. – Cultural universals. Cultural Universals – Similarities exist among all cultures. – Examples: Athletics Body decoration Courtship Music Transmission of Cultural Meaning Transmit cultural meaning through rituals, symbolic activities consisting of a series of steps occurring in a fixed sequence and repeated over time. – Fitness behavior – Shopping behavior – Gift giving Culturally constituted world Advertising/ Fashion system Fashion system Consumer goods Possession Ritual Grooming Ritual Exchange Ritual Individual consumer Divestment Ritual Characteristics, continued… Culture satisfies needs. – Order, direction, guidance. – Culture continually evolves to meet evolving needs of society. Characteristics, continued... Culture is shared. – Significant portion of society accepts same values, beliefs, and customs. – Shared through learning, socialization, institutions, religious centers, mass media. Characteristics, continued... Culture is dynamic. – Constantly evolving and changing. – Cultural trends Increasing number of working women. Increasing participation in health and fitness activities. Decreasing social acceptance of cigarette smoking. Increasing acceptance of e-commerce. Measurement of Culture Content Analysis Consumer Fieldwork – Observation Value Measurement Instruments – Rokeach Value Survey (RVS) – Values and Lifestyles (VALS) – List of Values (LOV) Rokeach Value Survey Instrument Terminal values – The relative importance of end-state values. Comfortable life Instrumental values – The basic approaches adopted to reach a desired end-state. Ambitious Core Values Core values are pervasive, enduring, and consumer-related. Each culture has its own set of core values.