Cultural Dynamics and Sustainable Consumption: a Perception of Brazilian Students in Germany
Palavras-chave:Cultura material, Comportamento do consumidor, Comunicação, Transcultural
The present study analyzed the influence of cultural determinants on the sustainable consumption behavior of individuals temporarily immersed in a foreign culture. Based on the framework proposed by Ceglia et al. (2015) for cross-cultural research on sustainable consumption, the study investigated the influence of material culture and communication and language systems on the sustainable consumption behavior of Brazilian exchange students living in Germany. The research adopted a qualitative interpretive design through an exploratory and descriptive approach. Data were collected through participant and non-participant observations and in-depth interviews with ten business students (six women) aged between 22 and 26. Students had to have studied at German universities for at least one semester to participate in the study. The results show that participants perceive the influence of cultural differences on their consumption behavior. In addition, both material culture (e.g., objects, institutions, and organizations) and language and communication systems (e.g., verbal and non-verbal communication) influence their sustainable consumption practices. Ultimately, this configures a dynamic process of adaptation to the new cultural context in which they live. The study innovates by bringing an empirical analysis of yet ill-understood cultural components. Such efforts complement current research and try to consolidate a broader cross-cultural research agenda on sustainable consumption.
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