Ethnicity introspected: Researchers in search of their identity

Amina Béji-Bécheur, Nil özçağlar-Toulouse and Sondes Zouaghi. Paper published in Journal of Business Research 65 (2012) 504–510.

illustration-mirrorThis article illustrates the use of researcher introspection prior to undertaking a sensitive research project. We first describe the research design. The contributions of introspection in relation to the concept of ethnicity are then clarified: (1) the feeling of belonging to an ethnic group (or ethnicity) is experienced only through social interaction; and (2) ethnicity is an ongoing process that is organized around self-protection tactics. Ethnicity emerges as an individual and syncretic process. The identity positions outlined in the various acculturation or post-assimilation models do not take this personal dimension into account, and limit individuals to cultural categories defined in relation to the majority culture. Accordingly we study ethnicity through practices and places of consumption characteristic of minority culture in order to understand consumers’ inner dialogue and the interactions experienced and to take into account the reciprocity of cultural exchange.

Full paper available on: