Product patriotism: How consumption practices make and maintain national identity
journal contributionposted on 06.06.2018, 09:20 by Nathalie Spielmann, Jennifer Smith Maguire, Steve Charters
In today's society, globalization and global flows are ubiquitous and undeniable. Consequently, it is possible to question the role and importance of national identity in consumption choices. This research inductively develops a theory for product patriotism, defined as how consumers construe their identity through nationally-iconic product consumption. A typology is proposed, outlining four possible virtual national identity positions consumers may occupy relative to their stocks of cultural capital, relational orientation toward the nation and situational contingencies. Product patriotism as a framework is distinct from past research that a) narrowly focuses on spectacular or positive forms of nationalistic consumption, b) segments consumers based on nationalistic or patriotic traits, and c) focuses mostly on brands. The novel framework of product patriotism provides new insight into the social patterning of consumers' reflexive, negotiated decoding of national identities, the dynamism of national identity, and the enduring significance of consumption when enacting national identities.