Cultural diversity in television narratives: Homophilization, appropriation, and implications for media advocacy

Cristel Antonia Russell, Hope Jensen Schau, David Crockett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

This research explores the role of cultural diversity in the construction of consumer identity, and in particular, how cultural diversity is appropriated through television viewing. Data based on depth interviews and surveys of young adults who created brand collages centered on a television-based character reveal that viewers identify and engage with television narratives through a process of "homophilization"; that is, they actively envision various features of television narratives as similar to themselves and their own lived experiences. The data also show that homophilizing processes are enacted primarily by customizing the narrative, or textual poaching, in which the consumers insert themselves and their experiences into the narrative, and that consumption choices serve as primary mechanisms for poaching. Because media narratives are important in the formation and maintenance of consumer identity, the authors strongly recommend vigilance in the production and dissemination of socially conscious narratives that allow prosocial and realistic characters with whom consumers can actively engage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-130
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Public Policy and Marketing
Volume32
Issue numberSPL.ISSUE
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

Keywords

  • Consumer culture theory
  • Cultural diversity
  • Homophily
  • Narrative
  • Television influence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing

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