I have decided to go with the guided suggestion to utilize my experience at my internship for this auto-ethnographic study.To begin with, I’d like to broadcast my understanding of auto-ethnographic studies, with the hope that I will gain some feedback from you readers!
It seems to me that auto-ethnography is very self-directed learning, where we focus heavily on the primary research and produce results ourselves as opposed to essay writing which is heavily based on secondary research.I believe there are still secondary components to auto-ethnography, though we reflect and compare our own results according to other studies.
With this knowledge, I have found some direction with my topic of research. My internship is at company that works closely with some major magazines in Australia. We work with luxury brands, doing their marketing and advertising and building their public relations campaigns.
An area of interest for me is the way in which ‘Asian’ cultures spend money. Stereotypically, Asians spend a lot of money on luxury items, such as Louis Vuitton handbags and they are marketed to appeal to Asian consumers. Interestingly, these countries produce a vast majority of the world’s retail goods, meaning there is not a shortage of other, cheaper options. So my question is why they are so attracted to spending such enormous amounts of money on these items.
I would like to look at Asia’s retail addiction and compare this between different Asian cultures. I know from my travel through parts of Asia, that each country has a very different culture this is reflected through their buying patterns. At this stage, I believe that this idea of Asian retail addiction may be a reflection of Chinese spending patterns, though I am not sure yet (further study necessary).
Image: Creative Commons
Image: Creative Commons
In order to incorporate a digital side to the study, I will conduct my analyses’ on the online stores. I will make comparisons between a brand and its stores in different countries. I will then seek information on purchasing habits in different cultures through both primary and secondary research. As I have a lot of Asian friends, I will be able to perform some qualitative research such as interviews and focus groups.
Having said all of this, I would like to ‘backtrack’ and establish that I have generalized these statements as potential hypotheses’ for the subject. I am not at all assuming that they are correct and will endeavor to find the answer.
This week in one of the videos I briefly heard mention of Carl Jung and his theory/idea of ‘archetypes.’ I would like to look further into Jungian archetypes, as I think it will give reason for our need to generalize everything, such as ‘Eastern culture’ and ‘Western culture.’
Jung Archetypes: Unknown Author, 2013, “Jung’s Archetypes” in Changing Minds at http://changingminds.org/explanations/identity/jung_archetypes.htm accessed on 07/08/2014
Image 1: Tempra L, September 2013, Chinese Luxury Tax image, on Creative Commons: Asian luxury shopping at http://www.modernwearing.com/trends-news/chinese-luxury-tax-is-real/ used on 07/08/2014
Image 2: AFPRelaxnews, August 2013, Hong Kong Luxury Bag Loans image, on Creative Commons: Asian luxury shopping at http://www.luxuo.com/tag/luxury-bag/page/4 used on 07/08/2014