JCJC - Jeunes chercheuses & jeunes chercheurs

Ethnicité et Comportements de Consommation – ETHNOS

Submission summary

The 'ETHNOS' project aims to gain an understanding of consumer behaviour within the Muslim population in France, in particular within the North African and Turkish communities. Muslims represent a group that appears to be strongly attached to their own community. Furthermore, the group as a whole is not well-understood and has numerous beliefs attributed to it. The 'ETHNOS' project intends to study ethnicity from the perspective of the relationship between minority and majority identity. Thus, it is not so much the consumer behaviours of the Muslim minority that interest us here, but the processes of constructing an identity at work within minority groups and in interaction with majority culture. Consumption as part of the construction of identities offers an appropriate field of analysis for processes of cultural integration (whether by integration, assimilation, marginalisation or separation). Therefore, the aim of this research project is to gain a deeper understanding of the role played by consumption in the process of cultural integration of ethnic minorities in France, in order to put forward recommendations for action by businesses and public authorities to improve the quality of life for minorities. The team submitting the ETHNOS project is characterised by three things: - The members of ETHNOS know each other from their previous collaboration on various research assignments, which have produced communications or articles co-signed by 2 or 3 of its members. - Each of the members has already worked on problems relating to consumption, without having addressed ethnic consumption directly. In this way, each member can contribute distinct but complementary insight and skills that are both academic and methodological in nature. - Three members of the group are North African or Turkish in origin, which needless to say makes it easier for them to understand the cultural contexts that the research looks likely to explore. These three elements, although a gauge of the project's success, would however not be enough in themselves to ensure that the research project brought results were it not for the two following elements: (1) This research stems from an encounter with a team of British researchers who have been working on the topic of ethnicity and consumption amongst Pakistani populations in the UK for several years now; (2) A socio-political context in which the integration of immigrants is an issue of the highest importance. It is the responsibility of Social Sciences, to which Management Sciences are attached, to become involved with resolving the debate, from a perspective of consumption. In order to achieve this project, the research will be carried out in three phases. The first phase will focus on obtaining an understanding the ethnic consumer behaviour of North African and Turkish consumers. The qualitative approach is preferred, since the role played by ethnicity in consumption is a complex or even taboo subject and is regarded by many consumers as private. It favours a wealth of information over statistical representativity and enables the phenomenon to be understood in depth. This first phase will consist of three stages. (1) an exploratory stage is planned; (2) a typology of ethnic consumption will be devised; (3) an analysis of communication (contents of messages and media) targeted at the groups studied is planned. As a second stage, the 'ETHNOS' project will bring together foreign researchers, whether directly or indirectly, for the purposes of comparison on two levels: (1) an interethnic comparison between a Muslim sample based in the UK (composed of consumers of Pakistani, Indian and other origin) and the sample already studied in France; and (2) a quantitative analysis of the significance of differences at an intraethnic level designed to verify the typology previously established during the first phase. The aim of this final phase is to draw up a set of theoretical and managerial recommendations validated in the form of scenarios by experts. The intention behind this project is to break down, in an empirical manner, the taboo surrounding ethnicity in France. The goal of the 'ETHNOS' project is to develop an axis of research into consumer behaviour in France. Secondly, studying a segment that has thus far been ignored will make it possible to judge whether consumption can be considered as an axis of social integration (or social well-being). The 'ETHNOS' project is supported by the 'Trade Industries' Competitiveness Cluster located in Lille Métropole (Pôle de compétitivité des « Industries du Commerce »).

Project coordinator


The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


Help of the ANR 99,216 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: - 24 Months

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