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The influence of Izatt on Identity Formation and Consumption. A study of Second Generation Punjabis in the U.K. Dichotomy of a British – Born Asian. To be British-born but Indian first. (Carney, 2004)

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The influence of Izatt on Identity Formation and Consumption

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the influence of izatt on identity formation and consumption

The influence of Izatt on Identity Formation and Consumption

A study of Second Generation Punjabis in the U.K.

dichotomy of a british born asian
Dichotomy of a British – Born Asian
  • To be British-born

but Indian first.

(Carney, 2004)

  • “Immigrants negotiate differences between home and here by choosing when and where to wear their ethnicity” (Oswald, 1999)
  • “progressive dilution of Asian culture and a two fold identity” (Hogg, Abrams & Patel, 1987)
cultural discourse
Cultural Discourse
  • Bend it Like Beckham
  • East is East
  • Zadie Smith/Monica Ali/Meera Syal
  • “Second generation British Asian youth live in a contradiction. Coming of age in England with an Asian upbringing, their lifestyles include both cultures. While following traditional practices of their parent culture, they are integrating popular British youth culture into their lifestyles”Gajaweera (2005)
identity ethnicity
  • Individual psychological identity
  • Socially constructed identity
  • Subjective/Objective measures of identity/ethnicity (Laroche et al 1992)
  • Ethnic Identity (Situational ethnicity)
  • “identities are not fixed by some core, singular, essential, universal properties. Rather they are contested, multiple and shifting and are embedded in cultural and historical practices” (Bhatia, 2002, 61)
identity ethnicity5
  • Ethnicity/Identity involves etiquette, language,

morality, religion and values

(Venkatesh, 1995)

  • “Identity construction becomes a continual daily task” (Jamal and Chapman, 2000, 384)
  • “Identity is theatre and politics, performance and action” (Canclini 2001, 38)
  • “Multiple, dialogical identities” (Lindridge, Hogg and Shah 2004, 17)
      • An important personal value in Asian life is IZATT – Family Honour
consumption acculturation
Consumption (acculturation)
  • “Immigrant consumer culture is a two level phenomenon occurring at the individual and the group level, therefore is both psychological and social-psychological” (Penazola, 1989:111)
  • “Consumer goods have a significance that goes beyond their utilitarian character and the commercial value. This significance rests largely in their ability to carry and communicate cultural meaning” (McCracken, 1986:71)
research study
Research Study
  • Interviewed 22 participants over 36 months
  • London/South East region
    • Southampton
    • Slough
    • Hounslow
    • Southall
  • Mix of Males/Females
  • Interviewed 2/3 times
key findings
Key Findings
  • Izatt and Behaviour
  • Izatt and Decision Making
  • Izatt and Status

Identity Formation

and Consumption


Spanning of two cultures

izatt conflict identity gender consumption
(Izatt - Conflict)Identity – Gender - Consumption
  • “It’s more difficult as an Asian girl. You are being looked at all the time. How you act, behave. As a female you really have to be careful not to give the wrong impression or do something that could affect the family’s name and reputation. With men its not so bad what they do. They’re men and they won’t be judged by everyone. Izatt is judged more in the females”.

(Female, 25)

  • “It’s like having so many bosses and trying to please them all in the name of Izatt. You are the one left there, to keep it all together. As a daughter-in-law you are not -only thinking about your in-laws izatt but also your parents. I have to think of it when I speak, socialise and even when buying, like clothes or our house it has to be in the right neighbourhood”

(Female, 30)

  • “I was told from a very early age that Izatt is who I am, and I realise now that is so true, if you don’t have izatt you don’t have the true Indian identity, you are not part of the group you don’t really belong. No matter what we are Indian first, that is our culture we can only really be western with certain things, so much more so for the women”. (Female, 34)
izatt conflict identity culture consumption
(Izatt - Conflict)Identity – Culture - Consumption
  • “Izatt makes you and defines who you are, if you lose izatt then you will be seen differently by others. We are born here but still parts of our culture are very Indian”

(Female, 36)

  • “Izatt affects what clothes I wear and how I behave. When I am in the shops I know that I have to consider it and frankly I am sick to death of it, I just want to be normal not always be balancing two cultures” (Female, 32)
  • “Jeopardising izatt also means jeopardising one’s ranking in the Asian community. That’s our culture”. (Male, 35)
izatt identity status consumption
(Izatt)Identity – Status - Consumption
  • “Izatt is at all levels, at one level its what you buy, the clothes, the products, the brands but it goes deeper than that, you can never get too relaxed as it may come back to haunt you, as the son I am carrying the name forward but even then its far more pressure for the girls.” (Male, 34)
  • “Izatt is of course about honour and respect. People my age have to take it into account with what we buy, the status, but more importantly if affects what people think of us and our family. How they rate us and what sort of status we have in the community, if affects everything, who we are and even what we buy”. (Female, 22)
izatt identity consumption
  • Role playing
  • Gender tensions/Conflict
  • Pressure to consume certain products
  • Izatt is an integral part of your identity as an Asian – defines you as a person
  • Haunting/over powering
  • Gives personal and material status
  • Izatt is a symbol of you, your family, your ranking, your fit in the community
the influence of izatt
The influence of izatt………..

Acculturation Levels