Purpose – This paper aims to understand the social dynamics surrounding the consumption of non-native, ethnic cuisines in the multicultural context of an Asian city. Design/methodology/approach – Data were collected via in-depth interviews with 21 culturally diverse residents of Dubai. Data were analysed inductively, leading to the emergence of three themes characterising social dynamics underpinning the consumption of non-native cuisines in an Asian multicultural environment. Findings – Three types of social dynamics were identified: instrumental uses, expressive uses and conviviality considerations. Research limitations/implications – The study suggests that the different types of cultural dynamics at play have different roles; some act as influencing or constraining factors in the everyday practice of multicultural consumption, whereas others are used more proactively as enablers. Originality/value – This paper contributes to the authors’ understanding of how people “practice conviviality” in multicultural marketplaces, providing insights into the complex social dynamics, underpinning the consumption of non-native cuisines in multicultural marketplaces. Although the consumer literature on food and cuisines has acknowledged the social influences surrounding cuisines and food consumption, these have typically been viewed in a single block. This study shows the importance of conviviality considerations in non-native cuisine consumption. Further, the paper shows that the consumption of non-native cuisines is an everyday practice in a multicultural context, which is used with varying degrees of proactiveness for social lubrication and multicultural socialisation.
Journal of Consumer Marketing – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 9, 2015
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