There are few pertinent issues that need some

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Unformatted text preview: ttitudes, values, personality types, religion and material possessions and so on [Hawkins et al, 2001:42; Rice, 1993:122; Kotler, 2000:161; Tian, 2000:273; and Burgess, 1998:15]. There are few pertinent issues that need some attention in elaborating the full concept at hand. Firstly, culture sets broad boundaries within which consumers tend to think and act. This is what is referred to as norms. Violation of these norms result in penalties ranging from mild social disapproval to banishment from the group. Conforming to norms is generally given explicit and obvious rewards, such as working hard at work in order to get a job promotion. However, some norms are expectant without a reward, such as joining the back of a queue when attempting to pay for a purchase in a store [Murray, 2002:16; Brassington & Pettitt, 1997:112; and McCort & Malhotra, 1993:91]. This example highlights what some store edutainment systems have tried to accomplish - assisting children in their soation in what is deemed as appropriate consumer behaviour [Creighton, 1994:35]. Secondly, culture is of a scholastic nature and is acquired. Unlike animals, whose behaviour is more instinctive, humans are not born with norms of behaviour. Instead, they learn their norms through imitation or by observing the process of reward and punishment in a society of members who adhere to or deviate from the group’s norm [Rotella & Zaleski, 2002:75; Hawkins et al., 2001:42; and Smith 1997:243]. In light of this sentiment, Corbell [1999:163] added, “the learning of culture must be a voluntary 44 action, motivated by social requirements.” This explains the way a growing child acquires a set of values, perceptions, preferences and behaviours through his or her family and other key institutions [Murray, 2002:16; Ying yi et al., 2000:709; and Kotler, 2000:161]. An illustration is that of an Afrikaans girl that enjoys milk tart and biltong whilst an English girl might enjoy Yorkshire pudding and sausages as a result of their parents’ culture. Thirdly, consumers are seldom aware of how culture influences their lives. Consumers think and act in similar ways as do other consumers simply because it feels “right.” This explains why certain human behaviour may be acceptable to some cultures and yet on the other hand, manages to offend other cultures. It generally boils down to how people share a common set of convictions that organise and relate many specific attributes [Hawkins et al., 2001:717; Zhang & Gelb, 1996:29; Hutcheson, 1993:4; and Cateora & Graham, 1999:99]. The fourth point is that culture is inculcated – it is passed down from one generation to the next through institutions such as family members and religion [Holden, 2001:657; Jacobs Jr., 1999:13; and Manrai & Manrai, 1995:115]. It should be noted that culture is also adaptive (the fifth issue) [Smith, 1997:243]. As culture evolves, it may be possible to associate benefits of a product or brand with new values or it may be necessary to change the product if that value is no longer gratifying in society. This can easily be verified by watching a television show from the seventies. This issue has given ris...
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