Culture-Based Rejection of Taboo-Infringing Imports

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Abstract

This empirical study analyzes the cultural basis of the United States market response to imported Spanish products that seem to violate strongly-held cultural taboos. Survey responses were obtained from students in two contrasting majors, Art and Business, in two distinct cities and universities, i.e. Little Rock at the University of Arkansas, and Dominguez Hills at California State University. The study focused on a baby doll marketed to piggy-back on the new movement towards breastfeeding babies. Although accepted in its original European market, the United States media reports strong moral objections to this product among U. S. citizens. The toy was overwhelmingly rejected in some, but not all, population sub-groups. This study attempts to discern the cultural basis for product rejection by comparing responses between regions, college majors, genders and gender/major combinations. Differences in acceptance between groups are correlated with specific cultural constructs.

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