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CONSTRUCTION OF SELF THROUGH CONSUMPTION BY YOUNG SRI LANKANS: EXTENSION OF CULTURAL SELF VS. CONSTRUCTION OF POSTMODERN SELF

Abstract

Postmodernists argue consumption became one of the prime determinant of the self identity of the western consumers since most of traditional values and institutions lost their dominant role in identity creation . Still Sri Lankan consumers appear to adhere to the traditiononal cultural values and institutions along with western consumption ethos. The study examined how Sri Lankan youth construct their self identity through consumption and importance of the cultural core and institutions in this identity creation process comparing with western youths .Set of Sri Lankan youths belonging to two social classes were interviewed by researchers for this study and analysis is done on discourse analysis methodology. Researchers found that cultural core and contemporary institutions still have greater influence on Sri Lankan consumers identity creation process. Research contributes to the severe lack of empirical consumer research in Sri Lanka while introducing a latest qualitative research methodology. This research also challenged the conventional marketers who exaggerated western consumption ethos and provides new understanding of the Sri Lankan consumers.

Keywords: Consumption, Identity, Sri Lankan consumer, Postmodernism, Discourse

For full paper: fmscresearch@sjp.ac.lk


Author Biography

B. Hewawasam

University of Colombo, Sri Lanka

D. Wijetunga

University of Colombo

J.A.S.K Jayakody

University of Colombo