Date of Graduation

5-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Human Environmental Science (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

General Human Environmental Sciences

Advisor

Eunjoo Cho

Committee Member

Kathleen R. Smith

Second Committee Member

Amanda Williams

Keywords

Acculturation, Assimilation, Cultural research, Ethnic consumer behavior, Fashion consumption, Hispanics, Shopping orientations

Abstract

With a population of 58 million in 2016, the Hispanic immigrant population in the U.S. is expected to grow nearly 30% by 2060 (Hispanic influence, 2016). Immigrants are affected by acculturation and often have difficulty maintaining their culture of origin. Prior studies have revealed acculturation influences on consumer behaviors, but despite the increased population and purchasing power of Hispanic immigrants in the U.S., few studies have explored the ways in which acculturation influences shopping behaviors for fashion products among Hispanic consumers. The purpose of this study is to explore the general attitude related to shopping (i.e., shopping orientation) of Hispanic immigrants, the acculturation level of those consumers, and the relationship between acculturation and shopping orientation. A snowball sampling was used to recruit a total of 15 married couples who were born and raised in a Hispanic country and moved to the U.S. after the age of 18. Interviews were conducted in Spanish, lasted about 60 minutes, and asked 20 open-ended questions. During the NVivo analysis process, interview data was categorized into key themes. Interview findings revealed that Hispanic immigrants maintain their original culture while adopting the host culture (i.e., integration). The majority of participants indicated that they prefer buying fashion products in the U.S. due to superior product quality (93%), affordable price (77%), convenient shopping (66%), national brands (63%), and customer service (43%). However, almost 70% of female participants indicated difficulties finding appropriate size and fit when buying clothing in the U.S. Hispanic immigrants tend to shop for clothing in their home countries when they want ethnic designs or leather goods and they are generally quality-conscious, price-conscious, brand-conscious, time-conscious, and recreational shoppers. These findings suggest a positive relationship between the integrated cultural values and shopping orientations of Hispanic immigrants

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