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CHAPTER 16

CULTURAL INFLUENCES ON CONSUMER BEHAVIOR

Multiple Choice

1. Culture can be thought of as societys ____________.


a. consciousness.
b. attitudes.
c. personality.
d. feelings.

Answer: (c) Difficulty: (M) Fact Page: 526

2. The accumulation of shared meanings, rituals, norms, and traditions among the
members of an organization or society is a definition of:
a. culture.
b. social class.
c. the family life cycle.
d. a reference group.

Answer: (a) Difficulty: (E) Fact Page: 526

3. Culture is the _______________________. (Choose the most appropriate statement.)


a. basis of all world thought.
b. lens through which people view products.
c. primary barrier in international understanding.
d. obstacle to be overcome rather than a cornerstone in the foundation of consumer
behavior.

Answer: (b) Difficulty: (H) Fact Page: 526

4. A consumers culture determines ________________ he or she attaches to different


activities and products.
a. the overall priorities
b. the bias
c. the psychological feelings
d. the cognitive perception of good or evil

Answer: (a) Difficulty: (M) Fact Page: 526

5. Reed Lewis comes from a coal-mining region in West Virginia. Because of his
background, Reed views management (especially of coal companies) as something to
be viewed with suspicion. With respect to the functional areas of culture presented in
the text, which of the following would probably be the primary reason for Reeds

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feelings?
a. Ecology.
b. Social structure.
c. Ideology.
d. Religion.

Answer: (c) Difficulty: (H) Application Page: 527

6. Culture can be seen as:


a. a static concept that is one of the true constants in our world.
b. a genetic concept that is bred into consumers.
c. a concept that synthesizes old ideas with new ones and is continually evolving.
d. a purely racial or ethnic concept that is often abused by those that discriminate
against those different from themselves.

Answer: (c) Difficulty: (H) Fact and Application Page: 527

7. All of the following are listed by the text as being functional areas of a cultural
system EXCEPT:
a. ecology.
b. social structure.
c. ideology.
d. socio-psychology.

Answer: (d) Difficulty: (M) Fact Page: 527

8. Gen Akoi greatly values his micro-refrigerator. The refrigerator is so small it will
literally fit almost anywhere. Gen believes that the efficient use of space is one of the
characteristics that any good product should have. With respect to the functional areas
of a cultural system, Gen is focusing on ____________ as a variable in selecting his
products.
a. ecology
b. social structure
c. ideology
d. socio-psychology

Answer: (a) Difficulty: (M) Application Page: 527

9. Under which of the following functional areas of a cultural system would a


consumers ethos become evident?
a. Ecology.
b. Social structure.
c. Ideology.
d. Demographic structure.

Answer: (c) Difficulty: (M) Fact and Application Page: 527

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10. Although every culture is different, four dimensions appear to account for much of
the variability between different cultures. Which of the following would not be
among those dimensions?
a. power distance.
b. general psychology of members.
c. uncertainty avoidance.
d. masculinity/femininity.

Answer: (b) Difficulty: (H) Fact and Application Page: 527

11. In Japan there is often a strict adherence to vertical relationships (especially in


organizations). A great amount of equality and informality is not tolerated. Which of
the following dimensions of culture would account for the rules in the Japanese
culture?
a. Power distance.
b. Uncertainty avoidance.
c. Masculinity/femininity.
d. Individualism.

Answer: (a) Difficulty: (M) Fact and Application Page: 527

12. In a(n) ________________, people subordinate their personal goals to those of a


stable in-group.
a. individualist culture
b. collectivist culture
c. group culture
d. dual culture

Answer: (b) Difficulty: (M) Fact Page: 527

13. Which of the following countries is the best illustration of a country that
embraces a collectivist culture?
a. Canada
b. Netherlands
c. Pakistan
d. Great Britain

Answer: (c) Difficulty: (H) Fact and Application Page: 528

14. In a(n) ____________________, consumers attach more importance to personal


goals and people are likely to change memberships when the demands of the group
become too costly.
a. individualist culture
b. collectivist culture
c. organizational culture

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d. dual culture

Answer: (a) Difficulty: (E) Fact Page: 527-528

15. Canada and Great Britain are examples of which of the following types of
culture?
a. Individualist cultures.
b. Collectivist cultures.
c. Organizational cultures.
d. Dual cultures.

Answer: (a) Difficulty: (E) Fact and Application Page: 528

16. ___________ usually dictate what is right or wrong, acceptable or unacceptable.


a. Concepts
b. Theories
c. Principles
d. Norms

Answer: (d) Difficulty: (M) Fact Page: 528

17. A(n) _____________ is explicitly decided on, such as the rule that a green traffic
light means go and a red one means stop.
a. cresive norm
b. conceptual norm
c. enacted norm
d. customary norm

Answer: (c) Difficulty: (M) Fact and Application Page: 528

18. Cresive norms are:


a. strict must do rules of behavior in a society.
b. only followed by the females of a society or culture.
c. embedded in a culture and only discovered through cultural interaction.
d. associated with monetary rewards and punishments.

Answer: (c) Difficulty: (H) Fact Page: 528

19. J.P. Stevens always looks perfect in his business suit. The colors are always right for
the season and prevailing style. His tie has the proper knot; he does not wear a tie-tac;
his handkerchief is the proper two-fingers above the pocket; and his socks and shoes
do not distract from his overall look. With respect to cresive norms, which of the
following forms of norms does J.P. seem to be adhering to with his correctness?
a. Enacted behavior.
b. Customs.
c. More (mor-ay).

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d. Conventions.

Answer: (d) Difficulty: (H) Application Page: 528

20. A story containing symbolic elements that expresses the shared emotions and ideals
of a culture is called a:
a. legend
b. ritual
c. folklore tale
d. myth

Answer: (d) Difficulty: (M) Fact Page: 530

21. If a story features some kind of conflict between two opposing forces, and its
outcome serves as a moral guide for people, then this story is regarded as a
_________.
a. ritual.
b. legend.
c. myth.
d. folklore tale.

Answer: (c) Difficulty: (M) Fact Page: 530

22. Myths serve four interrelated functions in a culture. All of the following are
among those functions EXCEPT:
a. Anthropological.
b. Cosmological.
c. Sociological.
d. Psychological.

Answer: (a) Difficulty: (H) Fact Page: 531

23. If a myth helps to explain the origins of existence, then the myth is serving a
_______________ function in the culture.
a. metaphysical
b. cosmological
c. sociological
d. psychological

Answer: (a) Difficulty: (M) Fact and Application Page: 531

24. If a myth emphasizes that all components of the universe are part of a single picture,
then the myth is serving a __________ function in the culture.
a. metaphysical
b. cosmological
c. sociological

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d. psychological

Answer: (b) Difficulty: (H) Fact and Application Page: 531

25. The story goes that George Washington (as a small child) cut down his fathers cherry
tree with a small hatchet. When asked who might have committed this act (even
though young Washington was afraid of punishment for the act), George replied, I
cannot tell a lie, I cut down the cherry tree. This story has taken on mythical
proportions in the United States. If the function of this myth is to provide a model for
personal conduct, which of the following functions would the myth BEST match?
a. Metaphysical.
b. Cosmological.
c. Sociological.
d. Psychological.

Answer: (d) Difficulty: (H) Application Page: 531

26. A ____________ is a myth that is common to many cultures. An example is a


hero who emerges from the everyday world with supernatural powers and wins a
decisive victory over evil forces. He then returns with the power to bestow good
things on his fellow men (e.g., Superman).
a. folk hero
b. mega-hero
c. monomyth
d. deity myth

Answer: (c) Difficulty: (M) Fact and Application Page: 532

27. The most prevalent version of the monomyth is perhaps best epitomized by which of
the following characters?
a. Paul Bunyan.
b. Pecos Bill.
c. Annie Oakley.
d. Superman.

Answer: (d) Difficulty: (E) Fact and Application Page: 532

28. A set of multiple, symbolic behaviors that occur in a fixed sequence and that tend to
be repeated periodically is called a:
a. ritual
b. legend
c. myth
d. folklore tale

Answer: (a) Difficulty: (M) Fact Page: 536

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29. All of the following are examples of ritual artifacts EXCEPT:
a. trophies.
b. pocket knives.
c. diplomas.
d. band uniforms.

Answer: (b) Difficulty: (M) Fact and Application Page: 536

30. Lucinda makes sure that she brushes her daughters hair 100 strokes a day. Her
fondest memory is of her mother doing the same for her when she was a small child.
What Lucinda is doing for her daughter is best described as which of the
following rituals?
a. Bonding ritual.
b. Feminine ritual.
c. Grooming ritual.
d. Gender ritual.

Answer: (c) Difficulty: (E) Fact and Application Page: 536

31. Researchers primarily see the gift-giving ritual as one of:


a. symbolic exchange.
b. stylistic exchange.
c. economic exchange.
d. psychological exchange.

Answer: (c) Difficulty: (H) Fact Page: 537

32. During which of the following gift-giving ritual stages does the giver first think about
and then become motivated by some event to procure a gift for someone?
a. Presentation.
b. Reformulation.
c. Gestation.
d. Bonding.

Answer: (c) Difficulty: (M) Fact and Application Page: 538

33. Sharon is upset with her secretary. Though everyone in the office agreed not to give
Christmas presents this year, Sharons secretary gave her an expensive bottle of
perfume. Which of the following terms most likely describes Sharons feeling of
concern?
a. Cheapskate.
b. Self-serving.
c. Role transference.
d. Reciprocity norm.

Answer: (d) Difficulty: (M) Fact and Application Page: 539

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34. Which of the holidays celebrated in the United States has been described as an
antifestival (in which the symbols associated with other holidays are distorted)?
a. Valentines Day.
b. Christmas.
c. Halloween.
d. Fourth of July.

Answer: (c) Difficulty: (E) Fact and Application Page: 543

35. A special time(s) marked by a change in social status is called a:


a. milestone.
b. static ritual.
c. cycle.
d. rite of passage.

Answer: (d) Difficulty: (E) Fact Page: 543

36. Getting married, passing the driving test, or getting divorced and reentering the dating
market are events that qualify as:
a. milestones.
b. rites of passage.
c. static rituals.
d. cycles.

Answer: (b) Difficulty: (E) Fact and Application Page: 543

37. Carl Thorne has just passed the final test to become a member of a college
fraternity. This rite of passage has moved Carl from being an individual to being
a member of a bonded group. When Carl receives his fraternity pin in a final
ceremony and joins his new brothers, he has passed through a final stage or phase of
a rite of passage metamorphosis in college. According to the text, what would this
final stage be called?
a. Separation.
b. Liminality.
c. Finality.
d. Aggregation.

Answer: (d) Difficulty: (H) Application Page: 544

38. ____________ involves objects and events that are set apart from normal
activities and are treated with some degree of respect or awe.
a. Profane consumption
b. Sacred consumption
c. Para-normal consumption
d. Deity consumption

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Answer: (b) Difficulty: (M) Fact Page: 544

39. With respect to consumption, consumer objects and events that are ordinary,
everyday objects and events that do not share the specialness of special ones are
called:
a. profane consumption.
b. sacred consumption.
c. para-normal consumption.
d. deity consumption.

Answer: (a) Difficulty: (M) Fact Page: 544

40. Thomas and his family recently toured the Gettysburg battlefield on their vacation.
The area was rich in history and memory. While walking, Thomas remembered all
the accounts of the battle that he had read in school. He finally understood why this
place had such a special meaning in American history and to Americans in general.
Thomass tour and thoughts were examples of what might occur in which of the
following consumption situations?
a. Profane consumption
b. Sacred consumption
c. Para-normal consumption
d. Deity consumption

Answer: (b) Difficulty: (E) Application Page: 544

41. Which of the following is an example of a scared place? (Pick the best
illustration)
a. Ground Zero in Manhattan.
b. A Hard Rock Cafe.
c. A cliff where one can often see a beautiful sunset.
d. Walking through the forest on a spring day.

Answer: (a) Difficulty: (E) Application Page: 544

42. Which of the following celebrities has recently achieved sacred status for the
average consumer?
a. Thomas A. Edison.
b. President George W. Bush.
c. Actor Tom Hanks.
d. Princess Diana.

Answer: (d) Difficulty: (E) Fact and Application Page: 545

43. To many fans, which of the following celebrities has achieved sacred status?
a. John Lennon.

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b. Sonny Bono.
c. Goldie Hawn.
d. Mel Gibson.

Answer: (a) Difficulty: (M) Fact and Application Page: 545

44. When a scared item or symbol is removed from its special place or is duplicated in
mass quantities, becoming profane as a result ___________ has occurred.
a. sacralization
b. desacralization
c. defamation
d. destruction

Answer: (b) Difficulty: (M) Fact Page: 547

45. Endless copies have been made of the Mona Lisa. The famous picture was once
portrayed on the cover of MAD magazine. When copying or portraying in profane
ways occurs to what is considered sacred, then a process known as __________
has occurred.
a. sacralization
b. desacralization
c. defamation
d. destruction

Answer: (b) Difficulty: (M) Application Page: 547

46. American flags have been made into jeans, shirts, guitar cases, and cowboy boots.
To many, this production is a clear case of _________________. (Use the
most appropriate term according to the text)
a. sacralization.
b. desacralization.
c. defamation.
d. destruction.

Answer: (b) Difficulty: (M) Application Page: 547

47. When ordinary objects, events, and even people, take on sacred meaning to a culture
or to specific groups within a culture a process called _____________ has occurred.
a. sacralization
b. desacralization
c. hero-worship
d. image-building

Answer: (a) Difficulty: (E) Fact Page: 547

48. The red slippers from The Wizard of OZ are on display in the Smithsonian

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Institution in Washington, D.C. The red slippers have become sacred objects
through a process known as:
a. collection.
b. prioritization.
c. objectification.
d. adaptation.

Answer: (c) Difficulty: (M) Fact and Application Page: 547

49. A phaser from the original Star Trek show, Archie Bunkers chair from All in the
Family, and one of John Lennons guitars are all examples of how common objects
can take on scared meaning through a process known as:
a. collection.
b. prioritization.
c. objectification.
d. adaptation.

Answer: (c) Difficulty: (M) Application Page: 547

50. The systematic acquisition of a particular object or set of objects (and this widespread
activity can be distinguished from hoarding) is called:
a. prioritization
b. objectification
c. adaptation
d. collecting

Answer: (d) Difficulty: (E) Fact Page: 548

True/False

51. Culture may be thought of as a societys personality.

Answer: (True) Difficulty: (E) Fact Page: 526

52. Sociology is the accumulation of shared meanings, rituals, norms, and traditions
among the members of an organization or society.

Answer: (False) Difficulty: (M) Fact Page: 526

53. Culture is the key to guaranteeing product sales.

Answer: (False) Difficulty: (M) Fact Page: 526

54. Condoms marketed in pastel-carrying cases for female buyers are an illustration
of how a culture can be changed by a product.

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Answer: (True) Difficulty: (M) Fact and Application Page: 527

55. Culture is often thought of being static because of the amount of time that it takes to
bring about change.

Answer: (False) Difficulty: (M) Fact Page: 527

56. A cultural system consists of three functional areas--ecology, social structure, and
ideology.

Answer: (True) Difficulty: (M) Fact Page: 527

57. Power distance (with respect to one of the functions of culture) is the mental
characteristics of a people and the way in which they relate to their environment and
social groups.

Answer: (False) Difficulty: (M) Fact Page: 527

58. Members of the Calvary Hill Baptist Church consider themselves to be full gospel,
a tight knit family-oriented church, and a place where the light of service and faith
shines brightly on the congregation. The members of the church could be said (from
the above description) to share a common pathos.

Answer: (False) Difficulty: (H) Fact and Application Page: 527

59. With respect to power distance, Japan emphasizes formal, vertical relationships.

Answer: (True) Difficulty: (M) Fact and Application Page: 527

60. The United States is an example of a culture that, with respect to power
distance, emphasizes strict, vertical relationships.

Answer: (False) Difficulty: (M) Fact and Application Page: 527

61. In a collectivist culture, people subordinate their personal values to those of a stable
in-group.

Answer: (True) Difficulty: (E) Fact Page: 527

62. The United States is an example of what might be called an individualist


culture.

Answer: (True) Difficulty: (E) Fact and Application Page: 527

63. Australia is an example of a culture that is considered to be collectivist in

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nature.

Answer: (False) Difficulty: (M) Fact and Application Page: 528

64. A convention is a norm that has a strong moral overtone.

Answer: (False) Difficulty: (M) Fact Page: 528

65. A crescive norm is one that is embedded in a culture and is only discovered through
interaction with other members of that culture.

Answer: (True) Difficulty: (M) Fact Page: 528

66. A myth is a story containing symbolic elements that expresses the shared emotions
and ideals of a culture.

Answer: (True) Difficulty: (E) Fact Page: 530

67. One of the functions of a myth for a culture is to serve as an anthropological reference
point.

Answer: (False) Difficulty: (M) Fact Page: 531

68. In the non-Christian world, the story of Adam and Eve would be considered to be a
Christian metaphysical myth.

Answer: (True) Difficulty: (H) Application Page: 531-532

69. A good illustration of a monomyth in our culture is Superman.

Answer: (True) Difficulty: (M) Fact and Application Page: 532

70. A monomyth is a set of multiple, symbolic behaviors that occur in a fixed sequence
and that tend to be repeated periodically.

Answer: (False) Difficulty: (E) Fact Page: 536

71. Mark Chen just passed his driving test. To Mark and his family, the passing of this
test might be considered an example of one of lifes rites of passage.

Answer: (True) Difficulty: (E) Application Page: 543

72. Profane consumption involves consumer objects and events that are ordinary.

Answer: (True) Difficulty: (M) Fact Page: 544

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73. According to information presented in the text, Ground Zero in Manhattan could be
considered an illustration of a sacred place.

Answer: (True) Difficulty: (E) Fact and Application Page: 544

74. Putting the American flag on articles of clothing is an example of the process known
as desacralization.

Answer: (True) Difficulty: (M) Fact and Application Page: 547

75. Elvis Presleys home Graceland has gone through a process of sacralization for
many fans and consumers.

Answer: (True) Difficulty: (M) Application Page: 547

Essay Questions

76. Define culture and give a brief description of how it is viewed.

Answer:
Culture is the accumulation of shared meanings, rituals, norms, and traditions among the
members of an organization or society.

Culture has been described as being:


a). The lens through which people view products.
b). A phenomenon whereby a consumers overall priorities are attached to different
activities and products.
c). Culture mandates the success or failure of specific products and services.

Difficulty: (E) Fact Page: 526

77. A cultural system consists of three functional areas. What are they? Give a brief
explanation of each.

Answer:
Cultures functional areas include:

(a) Ecology--the way in which a system is adapted to its habitat. This area is shaped by
the technology used to obtain and distribute resources.

(b) Social structure--the way in which orderly social life is maintained. This includes the
domestic and political groups that are dominant within the culture.

(c) Ideology--the mental characteristics of a people and the way in which they relate to
their environment and social groups. This revolves around the notion that members of a

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society possess a common worldview. They share certain ideas about principles of order
and fairness. They also share an ethos or a set of moral and aesthetic principles.

Difficulty: (M) Fact and Application Page: 527

78. Every culture is different. Cultural variability can be accounted for by four
dimensions. Name them and describe why this information is of importance to
marketers.

Answer:
The four dimensions of variability are:

Power distance - This is the way interpersonal relationships are structured when
differences in power exist between the participants

Uncertainty avoidance - This refers to the mechanisms a culture has for dealing with
ambiguous situations that threaten people because of uncertainty (e.g.,
organized religions)

Masculinity/femininity - This is the degree to which sex roles are clearly delineated,
rules are known about acceptable behavior by men and women, and who
is responsible for certain tasks within the family unit

Individualism - This is the value placed upon the welfare of the individual versus
the welfare of the group (individualist vs. collectivist cultures)

Students should point out that while all cultures may vary on these four dimensions, each
culture will embody them differently. Marketers must be careful to observe the way the
culture in which they are working addresses each dimension to avoid unnecessary
miscommunication or, worse, offense.

Difficulty: (H) Fact and Application Page: 527

79. What is the difference between a collectivist and an individualist culture? Using
examples displayed in the text, cite a country that would fit in each of the two categories.

Answer:
In a collectivist culture, people subordinate their personal goals to those of a stable in-
group. Examples are Venezuela, Pakistan, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Greece, and
Portugal. In a individualist culture, people attach more importance to personal goals, and
people are more likely to change memberships when the demands of the group become
too costly. Examples are the United States, Australia, Great Britain, Canada, and the
Netherlands.

Difficulty: (M) Fact and Application Page: 527-528

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80. Describe the difference between an enacted norm and a crescive norm. Indicate
forms that the crescive norm may take.

Answer:
An enacted norm is explicitly decided on, such as the rule that a green traffic light means
go and a red one means stop. The rules are not subtle, they are specific.

A crescive norm is embedded in a culture and only discovered through interaction with
other members of that culture. These norms can be subtle. Crescive norms include the
following:

(a) A custom is a norm handed down from the past that controls basic behaviors, such as
a division of labor in a household or the practice of particular ceremonies.

(b) A more (mor-ay) is a custom with a strong moral overtone. A more often involves
a taboo or forbidden behavior, such as incest or cannibalism. Violation of a more often
meets with strong sanctions from other members of a society.

(c) A convention(s) is a norm regarding the conduct of everyday life. These rules deal
with the subtleties of consumer behavior, including the correct way to furnish ones
house, wear ones clothes, host a dinner party, and so on.

Difficulty: (H) Fact and Application Page: 528

81. What is a myth? Give an example of a common myth that you know. Briefly list and
describe the four interrelated functions that myths can serve in a culture.

Answer:
A myth is a story containing symbolic elements that expresses the shared emotions and
ideals of a culture.

*****Students are free to choose their own myth to use in the second part of this
question. The instructor should give guidance if more specificity of the myth and its
description is needed.*****

Myths serve four interrelated functions in a culture:

(a) Metaphysical--they help to explain the origins of existence.


(b) Cosmological--they emphasize that all components of the universe are part of a
single picture.
(c) Sociological--they maintain social order by authorizing a social code to be followed
by members of a culture.
(d) Psychological--they provide models for personal conduct.

Difficulty: (H) Fact and Application Page: 530-531

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82. Define monomyth. Give an illustration.

Answer:
A monomyth is a myth that is common to many cultures.

As an illustration, the text says that the most prevalent monomyth involves a hero like
Superman who emerges from the everyday world with supernatural powers and wins a
decisive victory over evil forces. He then returns with the power to bestow good things
on his fellow men.

Be sure that the students illustration matches the criterion expressed in the definition.

Difficulty: (M) Fact and Application Page: 532

83. Define ritual. Choose one of the following rituals and describe how marketers can
use this ritual in preparing products and communication messages for consumers--
grooming rituals, gift-giving rituals, or holiday rituals.

Answer:
A ritual is a set of multiple, symbolic behaviors that occur in a fixed sequence and that
tend to be repeated periodically.

To answer the second part of this question, students may pick from any one of the three
ritual areas (they may also use Table 16.1). If the instructor chooses to ask this question,
advance information might be given so the student may come prepared. Some instructors
choose to give this question as a take-home assignment. If specific structure is desired
for the general format suggested in this question, then the instructor should provide that
structure in advance. There are ample examples in the sections of the chapter that deal
with these rituals for the student to use or the student can generate his or her own original
example.

Difficulty: (M) Fact and Application Page: 536-543, Table 16.1

84. Define rites of passage and indicate the various stages of role transition that can
occur. In what way do marketers relate to rites of passage?

Answer:
Rites of passage are special times in an individual's life marked by a change in social
status. Both primitive and modern societies set aside times when such changes occur.
Some of these changes may occur as a natural part of life cycles (e.g., puberty or death),
while others are more individual in nature (e.g., a birthday or graduation).

Rites of passage consist of three phases or stages of role transition:

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- separation stage which occurs when the individual is detached from his or her
original group or status, e.g., the college freshman leaves home.

- liminality stage when the person is literally in-between statuses, e.g., the new
arrival on campus tries to figure out what is happening during orientation
week.

- aggregation stage takes place when the person reenters society after the rite of
passage is complete, e.g., the student returns home for Christmas vacation
as a college veteran.

Examples of rites of passage include: A divorce, getting a raise, a birthday, a marriage, a


military recruit going to boot camp, an internship completed and a medical practice
begun, a novitiate becoming a nun, retirement from a job, etc. The final rite of passage is
death.

Marketers, of course, are acutely aware of the many opportunities presented by rites of
passage. They stress how their products can enhance a transition from one stage of life to
another, through gifts, appropriate "costumes," or articles used in passage rituals, such as
wedding rings, etc.

Difficulty: (H) Fact and Application Page: 543-544

85. Explain the difference between sacred and profane consumption.

Answer:
Sacred consumption involves objects and events that are set apart from normal
activities and are treated with some degree of respect or awe. They may or may not be
associated with religion, but most religious items and events tend to be regarded as
sacred.
Profane consumption involves consumer objects and events that are ordinary, everyday
objects and events that do not share the specialness of sacred ones. (Profane does not
mean vulgar or obscene in this context.)

Difficulty: (E) Fact Page: 544

86. Describe the differences between desacralization and sacralization by giving


illustrations. Be sure to include comments on what the term objectification means with
respect to the term sacralization.

Answer:
Desacralization occurs when a sacred item or symbol is removed from its special place or
is duplicated in mass quantities, becoming profane as a result. The text uses the
illustration of reproductions of the Mona Lisa as illustrations of what can happen to great
art when it is overused (such as in advertisements for photocopiers).

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Sacralization occurs when ordinary objects, events, and even people, take on sacred
meaning to a culture or to specific groups within a culture. The text uses events like the
Super Bowl or Elvis Presleys home Graceland as illustrations of the concept.

Additionally, objectification can occur when sacred qualities are attributed to mundane
items (like smelly socks or bats). This can occur through contamination whereby the
object was associated with sacred events or sacred people. Fans love to acquire items
touched by their heroes (example: the ruby slippers used in the
Wizard of Oz).

Difficulty: (M) Fact and Application Page: 547-548

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