Triple acculturation: The role of African Americans in the consumer acculturation of Kenyan immigrants


The role of a subcultural group in the consumer acculturation of Kenyan immigrants is examined. Our findings demonstrate that particular immigrant consumer behaviors are influenced by triple acculturation forces: dominant; subcultural and original culture. We find that immigrants do not arrive in the United States aware of their need to acculturate to a subcultural group. Critical incidents alert the immigrants of the need to acculturate to the African American subculture in order to fulfill some basic consumer goals such as accessing hair care, nightclub entertainment and church services. Progressively, immigrants begin to incorporate triple acculturation forces in their consumer decision making. The immigrants learn to be innovative as well as to engage in satisficing as they navigate the new consumption environment. This research contributes to acculturation studies by extending the models of Berry (Berry JW. Acculturation as varieties of adaptation. In: Padilla AM, editor. Acculturation: theory, model and some new findings, Boulder, CO: Westview Press; 1980. pp. 9-25) as well as Penaloza (Penaloza L. Altravesando Fronteras/Border Crossings: a critical ethnographic exploration of the consumer acculturation of Mexican immigrants. J Consum Res 1994;2:32-54[June]) by incorporating the role of a subcultural group in this process. © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Publication Title

Journal of Business Research