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Worlds apart: an investigation of South Africa’s established and emerging middle class consumers
Department of Management Studies, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
Western Sydney University, Penrith, New South Wales, Australia.
2019 (English)In: Society and Business Review, ISSN 1746-5680, E-ISSN 1746-5699Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Purpose–The purpose of the paper is to investigate the nature of variations among established andemerging middle class consumers in South Africa in response to the institution context factors associatedwith emerging markets that are established in international business studies.

Design/methodology/approach–An exploratory research approach using semi-structured expertinterviews was used to collect data.

Findings–Keyfindings indicate distinct approaches in dealing with factors such as different fallbackpositions, asset ownership, education, language, family responsibility, career aspirations and risk protectionin the middle class process of attaining and sustaining middle class status.

Research limitations/implications–The focus on one country has the potential to minimize thegeneralizability offindings from the study, however, South Africa has a significantly high proportion of sub-Saharan middle class consumers. This provides a basis for further a basis for further research into other sub-Saharan African countries.

Practical implications–Findings from the study provide practical insights on risk profiling of middle-class consumers for marketing practitioners.

Social implications–The study provides insights into the distinct variations between emerging andestablished middle class consumers in areas such as language and education. These insights have potentialimplications on the implementation of government policies such as the Empowerment Policy and consumerprotection.

Originality/value–The paper expands the research agenda in the area of middle class consumer behaviorin emerging markets. By concentrating on South Africa, the research expands existing knowledge beyondemerging giants like China and India, which are often a focus in literature.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2019.
Keywords [en]
South Africa, Consumer behaviour, Established middle class, Emerging middle class, Middle class consumers
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Industrial Marketing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-73684DOI: 10.1108/SBR-10-2018-0114OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-73684DiVA, id: diva2:1305519
Available from: 2019-04-17 Created: 2019-04-17 Last updated: 2019-04-17

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Ferreira, CaitlinRobertson, Jeandri

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