Postmodern paradoxes in Thai-Asian consumer identity
Much research on consumption and identity is framed by a Western perspective, and cast in terms of the de-coupling of identity from class within a fluid postmodern consumer culture. Little of this work engages with the subjective Asian experience in a cross-cultural context. We explore this theme through an inter-subjective, introspective analysis based on the jointly reconstructed experiences of the first author, a Thai national living and working in the UK for 8years, and her UK born-husband and co-researcher. The study feeds into research areas focusing on identity dilemmas faced by immigrants to the West, and on Asian culture and religion in relation to Western modes of consumption. Our analysis shows that consumption acts as a site for exposing both cross- and intra-cultural dilemmas of identity, and also for resolving them.
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