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Self Reference Criterion And Subculture Groups Cultural Studies Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Cultural Studies
Wordcount: 3361 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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One of the keys to success mentioned Cateora (2001) to achieve a successful international marketing is to adapt to environmental differences between a market and another. (Cateora, 2001). He defines the self-reference criterion (SRC) as a reference unaware of our own cultural values, experiences and knowledge as the basis for our decisions. The SRC hampers the ability to assess a foreign market in its true dimension.

The self-reference criterion (SRC) is especially operating in the customs business. If you do not understand the customs of our foreign counterparts, are more likely to assessment behavior of these people in terms of what is acceptable to us.

It is important to note that one of the most important strategies for success in international negotiations is to consider cross-cultural analysis in such a way as to isolate the influences of benchmark employment or self-reference criterion when making decisions, since it is essential to understand culture of the foreign market in order to avoid cultural shock and errors when you start a negotiation on the basis of adaptation to the environment in which it operates, and, moreover ethnocentrism which limits our ability to accept cultural differences and therefore reduces the opportunity to develop effective international marketing programs. In conclusion, when formulating and developing an international marketing program must consider the possible occurrence of these barriers as determinants of decision making.

To avoid disappointment for entering and remaining in foreign markets, it is important to have respect for cultural differences in each of the markets of different countries and it is really important to know the history, traditions and trends of potential markets for generate a truly global conscience and implement strategies with ethical trend in each of them.

The key to adapting is to maintain one’s culture but to develop a ¬ entendimien and a willingness to accommodate the differences. A successful marketing professional knows that China is important to give opinions without overwhelming arguments, criticism, even when requested, may cause the host “lose face.”

In Germany it is considered impolite to use first names unless one is specifically invited to do so, you should always address a person as Herr (Mr), Frau (Mrs.) or Fraulein (Miss) with your name.

In Brazil should not be offended by the propensity to touch the person with whom he converses. This custom is not a violation of personal space but the Brazilian form of greeting or emphasize one aspect to or gesture of goodwill and friendship.

For the employer you want to export as the international marketer and specialist in international trade must have a type of vision to observe and detect the different elements that may be important in the development of its function.

These views consist of:

The vision of company, which is to take into account the capacities, objectives and interests of the company.

The national vision that involves taking into account the positioning, the possibilities and trade agreements and government and private support of the country of the offered.

The vision for the country of the target market is to take into account the realities, barriers of values, culture, norms and customs of trade and business of the country that addresses the export effort.

The overall vision is to consider the general situation and sectoral trends, technology and international marketing in addition to the regionalization and globalization processes of international norms established by entities such as the OMG and the ICC











Adjusted for differences requires putting aside our own cultural values. James E. Lee proposed that the natural self-reference criterion – the unconscious reference to our cultural values – is the root of most international business problems. However, recognize and admit this, it is often quite difficult. (Negocios Internacionales, Michael R. Czinkota, Ilkka A. Ronkainen, Michael H. Moffett, 7th Edition, Pag 60)

By ignoring important cultural aspects, it can fall into the self-reference criterion, for example the unconscious reference to cultural values. Thus, it has been the cause of countless problems in international business and more, when it came to high-context. Avoid ethnocentrism as well, which is to consider their own culture as superiors to others (Czincota and Ronkainen, 1996) 


There are many dangers of the self reference criterion:

Failure to explore the need to take precautions

Do not measure the differences between the cultures of different countries.

Having an offensive answer with the host response

The steps for Cross Cultura Analisys:

To clarify the problem of home business

To clarify the problem of the foreign

Separate the SRC, examining in detail a complicated problem

Determine the problem without the SRC

The progress of a global awareness

Different cultures must be tolerated

To know and accept different cultures, making working with others whose culture is different.

Have a knowledge of different global cultures, such as history, social and political problems.

Focus on global awareness

Selecting managers with global knowledge

Having relationships with people who are from other countries or nationalities

Cultural diversity within the company executives



Acoording to Usunier and Lee J. in the book Marketing across Cultures, Perceive the French about other cultures are:

The Germans: Pretentious and offhand. Fashionable, womanizing, frivolous, fickle, well-mannered, resourceful.

The British: Nationalistic, chauvinistic, intransigent, centralist, dependent on the state, polite but not open minded, humourless, short tempered.

The Americans: Chauvinistic, well mannered, combination of good food and good conversation, curious about foreing people, pretentious, talkative, pleasant, intelligent.


Properties of ethnocentrism may include the following tendencies:

(1) to distinguish different groups;

(2) to perceive events in terms of their own group interests (economic, political and social);

(3) to see one group as the center of the universe and consider your lifestyle superior to all others;

(4) to distrust other groups and negligible;

(5) to see one group as superior, strong and honest; 


The phenomenon of ethnocentrism is a danger to global marketing. Ethnocentrism is not to buy a foreign product not because it more expensive or lower quality, but the fact of being one’s own country. People affected by this fact tend to think that the product of your country is always better. Immoral even consider buying things from abroad. It is curious that in other countries, like Spain, the opposite happens: if a foreign product looks better. An Italian designer suit seems more elegant than a national costume.

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The effects of ethnocentrism on the process of marketing and sales can sales practices to coexist rational and irrational due to marketing consumer ethnocentricity (Walle, 1986). The central role of personal provide satisfaction and customer service quality may be adversely affected by wider influence of marketing in the development and communication of identity corporate (Thomas and Hill, 1999). Likewise, ethnocentrism can also affect negatively to the transfer of technology from countries with economies of third world developed nations, due to the ethnocentric and stereotyped behavior on the part of developed economy, this is particularly true in technology transfer social, for example, in the area of organizational development (Bourgeois and Boltvinik, 1981).

Consumer ethnocentrism is related to the country effect origin, either as an independent concept (Herchen, 1992), or considering it, from academic point of view, a further element of the concept of country of origin on the explains how the patriotic feelings affect attitudes toward products and purchase intentions (Han, 1988; Hadjimarcou, Hu and Bruning, 1993, Good and Huddleston, 1995; Huddleston, Good and Stoel, 2001) 







Internationalization Strategies

Ethnocentrism: Oriented to the country of origin. The company has focused its sales targets in the local market will eventually be sold in other markets only if you experience any order. Consider export as a sideline, giving priority to domestic operations. There is no change in the commercial mixture.

Polycentric: Oriented to the country of destination “Each country is considered as an independent reality, planning and marketing strategies are defined according to the needs of this market .- The distribution is done with equipment sales channels and target market .- Participate in the national market but in a disorganized and unplanned .- Usual medium enterprises or those with some experience in foreign markets .- It is expensive to establish the structure and oil business management, emerging problems of coordination and Control.

Region Centric: Oriented to the region, is establishing a strategic plan for the entire region. – A regional sales target, market coverage “program is organized and planned sales.

Geocentric: global orientation.


The subculture is a distinct group within a culture. Its members can meet for various reasons, such as age, ethnicity, sexual identity, musical tastes or aesthetics, among others. It is usual that the subculture defines itself in opposition to the dominant culture. There are times; however, that such opposition is not radical.

The members of a subculture often share a similar appearance that identifies them as a particular hairstyle (the ridge in the case of the punks) or the color of the clothes (black for Goths or emos). Within a subculture usually speak a particular dialect or uncommon terms used in other groups.

The emergence of a subculture is established by the existence of shared symbols. This distinguishes the simple groups of people who meet common tastes of subcultures. In the mentioned case of the goth subculture, its members appeal to the black clothes and white makeup to convey their skepticism and lack of hope for the development of mankind

Cultural subgroup is the denomination to define those groups of individuals who share common goals and ways of representation communes.

Sub cultural analysis to segment the market to reach the needs, motivations, perceptions and attitudes that are shared by members of a particular subculture group. A subculture is a distinct cultural group that exists as an identifiable area within a larger and more complex society. Its members have beliefs, values and customs that set them apart from other members of the same society. The main sub-cultural categories are: nationality, race, religion, geographic location, age, sex and education.



The origin of the word “emo” itself is confusing, most people associate it with the word “emotional” from the ’90s. More recently, the word “emo” was seen as a contraction of “emotional hardcore” or “emocore”, which were popular designations music genre. The term “emo” has also been used in recent years on the Internet by different field, especially to those who seem emotionally unstable. Others use the term “emo” to describe a feeling of depression. In English the term ’emo’ is also used as an abbreviation for the word “emotive” meaning affective or emotional.


Flogger is known as a trendy teenager from Argentina, which is closely related to Fotolog.com, a website where you upload photos and where users can comment on them. It has become very popular among young people, to become almost a habit or lifestyle. Flogger The word comes from “flog”, short for Fotolog. The popularity of a photoblog is based on the number of signatures (comments) daily photos and their friends / favorites. The photos uploaded in their respective fotologs often self-portraits.


This is a movement in several countries. It started in the UK between the late 70s and mid 80s in the gothic rock scene, a derivation of the Post-Punk. His aesthetic and cultural inclinations come mainly from the influences of horror literature, horror films, and to a lesser extent, the BDSM culture. The goth subculture shared aesthetic tastes, musical and cultural common ground. Although Gothic music encompasses several sub-genres and styles, all share a tendency to look and sound “dark” or “dark.” Styles of dress within the subculture, taking influences from death rock, punk, androgynous style, and even the Renaissance style of dress, but goths are aesthetics, which focuses on black. Gothic


This is born in the UK since the early 70’s where a stream of young people in Britain and other industrialized countries felt that the rock had gone from being a means of expression for young people, to a mere marketing tool and showcase to the grandeur of the musicians of the time, pushing the music of ordinary people. Punk emerged as a mockery to the rigidity of the conventions that concealed forms of social oppression. Philosophy punk can be summarized as: • “Do it yourself”, “have it your way.” • Rejecting the dogma and not to seek a single truth. challenge and contradict everything • Do not operate according to the fashion and media manipulation in addition to being against consumerism. • Think for yourself.


The skinheads are skinheads or groups considered to be Nazis. They advocate the ideology of German leader Adolf Hitler and say they want to rid society of what they call “scum”, although this will have recourse to violent methods they know as “clean-up squads.”

The Rastafarian

These comes from Jamaica, is linked to the liberation of black people, looking for the earthly paradise in this case would ethiopia, so their characteristic colors, green, yellow and red, the rasta culrtura more than a movement is a religion provided when carrying off the bottom of the letter, not consuming meat, and based on pure marijuana consumption, on the grounds that the Bible mentions that God has created all the plants for use by men, also stops at state of “flight” to achieve a better meditation.


Culture is defined largely consumer behavior of a given society. However, within a culture more homogeneous subgroups coexist with a common customs and values. Distinguish consumers in each subculture facilitates the positioning of brands and products aimed at a culture. Segmentation in subcultures is based on a socio-cultural and demographic factors were clearly identifiable. Marketers must be aware of how sub-cultural influences interact, not just segmented by a unique subculture.

The classification of subcultures is usually done on the basis of national origin, age, religion, sex and lifestyle. However, this type of segmentation is valid provided that belonged to one of these subgroups involving behavioral patterns and identifiable characteristics, since the fact of being black or white, yuppie or a housewife, may not be a factor significant for the purchase of certain products. If subculture is identified as the group of adolescents between 14 and 18, is because they have a different behavior than for people between 25 and 32, for example.

In Spain, the development of advertising campaigns are often differentiated mainly by age, gender and lifestyle, rather than racial influences, for although the number of immigrants is increasing, especially from the early ’90s, a group is not so ingrained as, for instance, Hispanics or African American. The choice of conditioning (shape, appearance, color) cannot ignore the symbolic meanings associated with the cultural environment.

An example: Nestlé launched a dairy preparation characterized by containing active bifid us and a rich supply of calcium. It differs by the higher calcium content and pleasant taste. And in Latin countries the gratification of taste is a key factor for the food products sector. If your taste or texture is not good, the product will not succeed.

That makes it especially attractive given a subculture from the perspective of marketing is the fact that it represents a segment of consumers with unique shopping habits, which involves a significant purchasing power for the company.

If cultures differ, and if consumers behave differently, marketing strategies must also adapt to different environments can be identified. In this sense, be regarded as cultural adaptations in market research and strategies of the marketing mix, product, price, distribution and communication.

In any social group differences in manifest behavior patterns for marketers this fact offers advantages and disadvantages. Disadvantages as identify a greater number of differences in a society should lead to the segmentation process to continue to spread to other possible groups that show homogeneous patterns or cultural features, design marketing activities appropriate to each segment or any of them, and increase business costs arising from the differentiation. Advantages precisely because the market segmentation us to potential target sites which may constitute or niches where the company can rest, defend, or be strong.

In a society there are groups that are usually values and cultural homogeneous, but that differ from other groups, all members of the macro cultural group. What is important for the marketing manager is to realize this potential cultural variety, and then follow a process similar to the following:

• Analyze cultural diversity in a particular social group.

• Identify the types existing subcultures according to nationality, race, religion or geography.

• Analyze the main cultural and behavioral differences

• Study the profiles of each group for demographic, psychographic and behavioral.

• Evaluate the potential of each subculture as target market

• Determine the implications for marketing and its key variables.

In the light of new trends that have been imposed in the marketing, seen as a social process, there has been a school of thought supported by the relativistic paradigm. The culture has begun to be seen as the background which shows the consumption patterns and also some products which have acquired a symbolism not imagined before (Lindridge and Dibb, 2003). As a result, beyond instrumentalist considerations, sociological, social, mutually beneficial exchange, strategic, administrative, and engineering (Páramo, 2004) has emerged strongly in recent decades on the world of academics and researchers, a tendency to view marketing as part of a particular culture (Douglas and Isherwood, 1979; Arnould and Wallendorf, 1994; Páramo, 2000a, 2000b).

This trend has upset the paradigm of a country regarded as a synonym of the same culture (Rao, 1997), since societies are constituted largely by subcultures that correspond to the existing human groups. In fact, for over 20 years marketing has witnessed a continuing growth of interest in the study of cultural differences between ethnic groups and its implications for marketing and this has forced him to resort to ethnicity and culture as criteria segmentation.


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