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Authenticity and consumption in the Australian Hip Hop culture

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Purpose ? The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects that local interpretation and the glocalisation of the Australian Hip Hop culture have on the consumption practices of members, exploring the reasons for such effects, and drawing marketing implications. Design/methodology/approach ? Three principal methods of ethnographic research were used: participant observation, informal conversations, and semi-structured in-depth interviews. Findings ? The findings suggest that symbolic representation within the Australian Hip Hop culture takes the form of consumption of brands congruent with the values of authenticity and self-expression at the core of the Australian Hip Hop culture. Many mass-produced Hip Hop brands originating in the USA were not perceived as authentic as their meanings were associated with commercialisation and artificiality by cultural members. Furthermore, members of the Australian Hip Hop culture appear to express authenticity by being true to themselves, refusing to imitate African-American Hip Hop style and rejecting what they perceived as ?black? Hip Hop brands. Finally, members of the Australian Hip Hop culture also represented their geographical place via consumption, and used symbolic consumption as a form of subcultural capital. Originality/value ? This paper fills a gap in the literature by providing a detailed analysis on the effects of interpretation and the glocalisation of the Australian Hip Hop culture on consumption.
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Keywords: Australia; Consumption; Culture

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2006

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