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Shopping For Identity - Marilyn Halter

Shopping For Identity

Paperback Published: 23rd July 2002
ISBN: 9780805210934
Number Of Pages: 256

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In America today, you can connect to your ethnic heritage in dozens of ways, or adopt an identity just for an evening. Our society is not a melting pot but a salad bar--a bazaar in which the purveyors of goods and services spend close to $2 billion a year marketing the foods, clothing, objects, vacations, and events that help people express their (and others') ethnic identities. This is a huge business, whose target groups are the "hyphenated Americans"--in other words, all of us.
As immigrant groups gain economic security, they tend to reinforce--not relinquish--their ethnic identification. Marilyn Halter demonstrates that, to a great extent, they do it by shopping. And their purchasing power is enormous. How has the marketplace responded to this hunger? Instantly and wholeheartedly: tweaking old products and inventing new ones; launching new brands in supermarkets, new music groups, vacation itineraries, language courses, toys, greeting cards, et cetera. This nexus of business and ethnicity is already seen as the hottest consumer development of this decade, and Halter is uniquely qualified to describe its origins, the exponential growth of products and advertising, and the phenomenal sales of items from salsa to Chieftains CDs.
She addresses her subject with an abundance of anecdotal evidence, telling examples of ethnic marketing, and interviews with entrepreneurs (many of them immigrants) who are vigorously seizing the opportunities offered by the business of ethnicity.
Shopping for Identity is provocative, intriguing, and farseeing, illuminating an important aspect of our contemporary way of life while validating the yearning we all feel for connection to our roots.

"From the Hardcover edition."

Industry Reviews

"Original in premise, thoughtfully researched, and eminently readable"
--Joshua Glenn, Bostonia, Spring 2001

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Longings and Belongings: An Introductionp. 3
From Community to Commodity: The Color of Moneyp. 25
The New Ethnic Marketing Expertsp. 48
The Romance of Ethnicityp. 78
Ethnic by Design: Marketing to a "New America"p. 104
A Rainbow Coalition of Consumersp. 138
Recipe for Multiethnicity: The Mestizo Makeoverp. 170
Conclusionp. 192
A Note on Terminologyp. 199
Notesp. 203
Bibliographyp. 216
Indexp. 226
Illustration Creditsp. 243
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780805210934
ISBN-10: 0805210938
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 23rd July 2002
Publisher: Random House USA Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.0 x 13.1  x 1.7
Weight (kg): 0.27
Edition Number: 1

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