Exchanging value within individuals' networks: Social support implications for health marketers

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Abstract:

When it comes to health, how is value exchanged on a personal basis within a specific cultural context? In this paper, the cultural and social context of social support, particularly emotional support from social network members, is assessed and areas for further study identified. This exploratory research was undertaken amongst an immigrant South Asian community in the UK and the findings highlight rich areas for further research on the exchange of value between individuals. For health marketers, the paper provides cultural insights into the exchange relationships between cardiac patients and their network members. The research identifies dimensions such as obligations, sacrifice, and motivations, which influence the level of support patients believe they receive from their social networks. These insights can help marketing programmes take into account information and resource flows within communities that are characterised by strong social networks, either within the multicultural communities in developed countries or those in developing countries.

Keywords: South Asian; health; networks; social capital; social networks; social support; value

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.2011.547075

Affiliations: Open University, UK

Publication date: March 1, 2011

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