Of stereotypes and strategies : emic perspectives of shopping in a television servicescape Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/9z903205g

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  • Culturally based stereotypes are a pervasive force behind quick judgments about behavior, intent, and beliefs which allow individuals to interact efficiently to meet their own goals. Gender stereotypes are present in marketing media and servicescapes, where they define the behavior, needs, and wants of shoppers. The literature on consumer behavior and marketing does not adequately deal with the pervasiveness of gender stereotypes. Previous research focuses attention on men's behavior in women's traditional shopping environments. In my research I examined variations in women's and men's behaviors to test assumptions about traditional hunter-gatherer roles that appear in consumer literature. I explored stereotypes associated with television servicescapes using in-depth interviews with ten customers and eight salespeople, a survey often shoppers, and description of eight messages advertising televisions. I then used thematic analysis to identify patterns across participants and messages. Customers, salespeople, and marketers rely on outdated stereotypes of each other to make sense the shopping-sales experience. Stereotypes are evident Redacted for Privacy in overtly gendered marketing material which turns a blind eye to a possible market niche for women. They are also manifested in potentially alienating experiences on the sales floor where customers and salespeople interact in what Goffman (1969:100) calls "strategic interactions". Power and control are an issue on the sales floor as customers attempt to make autonomous decisions, and salespeople attempt to offer information and support. Salespeople believe they are "buddies" for customers and lump customers into categories based on gender and age. Customers believe that salespeople will be either "helpful" or "pushy" with the latter trying to sell you something you do not need or want. By altering the behaviors and attitudes that communicate the pushy stereotype to customers, salespeople can begin to reduce the struggle for power and control. Outdated stereotypes of hunters and gathers and gendered products will not meet the needs of a changing population. Emic perspectives of the servicescape highlight avenues for improvement that are generated by the people who experience frustration and alienation during the shopping experience.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Deborah Campbell(deborah.campbell@oregonstate.edu) on 2011-08-15T23:07:30Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 HarrisMackenzieMoore2005.pdf: 7588072 bytes, checksum: 6cea6e3dc14430935e20647e5db22460 (MD5)
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