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Shopping for Identity: The Marketing of Ethnicity [Paperback]

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Item Number 142851  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   256
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8" Width: 5.16" Height: 0.66"
Weight:   0.6 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 23, 2002
Publisher   Schocken
ISBN  0805210938  
EAN  9780805210934  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
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."

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More About Marilyn Halter

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Marilyn Halter, a member of the history department and the American Studies program at Boston University, is also a research associate at Boston University's Institute for the Study of Economic Culture. She is the author of Between Race and Ethnicity and the editor of New Migrants in the Marketplace. She lives in Lakeville, Massachusetts.

From the Hardcover edition.

Marilyn Halter was born in 1967.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > General   [35532  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > Marketing & Sales > Consumerism   [350  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > Marketing & Sales > Marketing > Research   [275  similar products]
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Special Groups > Ethnic Studies   [3472  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Fabulous  May 21, 2003
Shopping for Identity is a great book. It has humor embedded into a well-documented research about culture diversity. It leads right to the heart of issues that we are dealing with in our society. I learned so much from it. What does make it more exhilarating while you are reading through the chapters, is that it applies automatically to our real life. True, the concepts are sophisticated, but the writing is so accessible. Even though an academic has written it, it can be read by all of us. Highly recommended.
Great idea, lousy execution  May 16, 2003
There is little doubt that Marilyn Halter has hit upon an important concept: the part-time indulger in ethnicity, who buys products that resonate with her/his heritage. Halter shows how many companies ally themselves with new marketing schemes to appeal to an increasingly diverse American market. This is a solid sociological insight, and Halter's work mines this theme for all its worth.

However -- many of the chapters are nothing but an endless list of examples; and because the thesis of her work is all-pervasive, what you end up with is an entire book of near indistinguishable chapters. There seems to be virtually no progression to the writing here. I'm not sure if this is a new strain of pop market sociology, but this is not an example of good writing. Where the main thesis should be explored, there is instead a barrage of examples that shift rapidly (e.g., one moment it is the kosher foods market, the next it is new wedding services), and IMHO real analysis is sacrificed in favor of bowling the reader over with a collection of information that is supposed to be hard research. Yes, it is impossible not to ask important questions about one's own ethnicity while reading the book; but, this seems to come at the expense of Halter really digging in to some meaty cultural analysis and instead surrending to more journalistic approach.

While I am deeply interested in this topic, I have to express an overall disappointment with 'Shopping for Identity.' It's a book that reads like chaotic mush.

An important look at consumer culture.  May 3, 2001
This is an excellent study of consumer culture. Many investigations assume a monolithic "consumer" and Halter adds subtlety and nuance by looking at the ways ethnicity impacts consumption. Highly recommended.
questions for mom???  Nov 17, 2000
I read Mariyln Halter's book, Shopping for Identity and found it fascinating. Not only is the book about the marketplace but it touches the emotions of being an American and loving your own heritage. After reading about the Boston Irish firefighters I called my mother and asked very specific questions about my forebears and the struggles they had overcome. Shopping for Identity gave me permission to explore my own personal ethnic identity. I have shared the book with others because it is a great read and an important contribution to understanding the current trends in American culture.
Serious and enjoyable reading  Oct 29, 2000
I read Marilyn Halter's Sopping for Identity and liked it so much I couldn't keep myself from sharing my enthusiasm with others. First of all because it is really enjoyable reading. I read the book as I would read a good novel, in spite of being the outcome of serious research. And this is rare. Then I liked it because it helped me understanding American society. As an European who admires American culture, reads a lot of American books and sees a lot of American films the book was an eye opener. I can now understand things that didn't make sense to me for lack of knowledge on a changing society. In this global world we tend to think it's enough to read some books and watch CNN and we'll know what is going on. Reading Marilyn Halter I realized that's not enough, but one book can make the difference. And Shopping for Identity made the difference for me. I hope it will be translated soon, so more people in this part of the world can enjoy it the way I did. Congratulations Marilyn, it's a great book!

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