Abstract: This study described the pre-immigration elements that influence the Malay sojourners consumer acculturation in the United States of America. The process of consumer acculturation involves the newcomers acculturation into the dominant host cultures attitudes, values and behaviors towards their consumerism. Being an ethnic group which struggles to integrate into a dominant host culture and is quite ethnocentric in their consumption behavior presents a need to examine the factors that could influence the Malays consumption behavior. To achieve this objective, an examination on the Malay sojourners initial reactions to the American market and their consumption patterns in the United States was conducted. The study employed an exploratory qualitative method by examining the sojourners experiences through self-reports. This involved 15 in-depth interviews conducted with Malay sojourners in Washington, D.C.; Athens, Ohio; Columbus, Ohio and Kalamazoo, Illinois. The sojourners consisted of students, expatriates, Malaysian Embassy staff and spouses of the first three groups. The result showed that the Malay sojourners used symbolic consumption to strengthen their existing identity built on faith and culture. They had to adjust their purchasing behaviour due to the lack of Islamic compliant products in the American market. The ethnic groups collectivistic nature played an enormous part in their pre-purchase information search. These findings were discussed and associated with the Malaysian local market, the Malay culture and Islamic practices in Malaysia.
Sharifah Nadiah Syed Mukhiar, Drew McDaniel, Rani Ann Balaraman and Wang Chang Song, 2016. The Influence of Pre-Immigration Elements in Malay Sojourners Consumer Acculturation in the United States of America. The Social Sciences, 11: 6734-6744.