Perspectives Of Influence Of Religion And National Culture On Differentiation Of Consumption

Abstract

In the context of globalization, the influence on consumer choice of some factors decreases. Tracking these trends is acute for both state authorities and entrepreneurs who plan to manufacture goods. In this study, we attempted to study the influence of ethnicity and religion on consumer decisions in respect of certain types of food products. For this, the relationship between production, sales of meat and alcohol products and population structure was analyzed; a sociological survey was conducted in 14 major cities of the Central and Siberian parts of Russia. The paper presents not only the results of the analysis of the relationship of consumption of individual products with the nationality and confession of the consumer, but also highlights the factors affecting the dynamics of this relationship. The analysis showed that Muslims consume less alcohol and pork and slightly more meat types such as mutton, horse meat and poultry meat. In mixed families, where the father and mother are of different nationalities, the dishes of the mother’s national cuisine are more often consumed. As a result, with the union of two people of different nationalities, in a certain proportion of cases a child born in a mixed marriage may receive nationality from one of the parents, and a consumption pattern from the other parent. The simulation allowed justifying the reduction of the national factor on consumer choice in the future.

Keywords: Consumptionnutritional differencesnationalityreligionmodelling

Introduction

The modern world is multinational and multi-religious. In the culture of each nationality there are national dishes characteristic of it, the appearance of which was originally associated with the natural and climatic characteristics of the territory of the ethnic group during the formation of its national identity. However, the processes of globalization lead to a mixture of cultures, which affects the consumer choice of certain dishes. Trends are growing as a result of scientific and technological progress, migration, and many other factors. Among non-economic factors, there is a socio-demographic (Stancu, 2015), psychological (Cetină, Munthiu, & Rãdulescu, 2012), political (Šmaiienien, & Vaitkienė, 2014), cultural and other factors (Cheng, Olsen, Southerton, & Warde, 2007; Dube & Morgan, 1998; Rook, 1985). Their study is important for public authorities seeking to preserve the stability and prosperity of society, and business entities operating in the market and building their activities according to the needs of the population. The whole diversity of ethnic and confessional groups lives on the territory of the Russian Federation unevenly: in some subjects the population of some nationalities and confessions may prevail, in other subjects others. As a rule, nutrition in the context of the subjects of the Russian Federation has its own national flavor.

In this paper, attention is focused on studying the influence of nationality and denomination on consumer choice, the study of which remains highly relevant (Forero & Smith, 2010; Gabaccia, 1998; Wilson, 2006). Interest is the study of changes in consumer behavior of both parties. Emigrants enter the new environment with established grocery baskets. Locals from migrants will learn for themselves the culture of consumption of new peoples, their national cuisine. Interest is the study of changes in consumer behavior of both parties. And although people make choices based on experience and memories (Lynch, 1988), over time, everything new becomes habitual. For example, potatoes, which are loved by many Europeans, were brought to Europe only in the 16th century. Religious attitudes also influence consumer choice. Religion plays an important role in forming beliefs, knowledge, and attitudes that determine people's feelings and attitudes toward consumption (Jamal, 2003). As Mokhlis S. notes, a highly religious person values the world through religious schemes and integrates religion into life (Mokhlis, 2006). Therefore, studies of the influence of religion and culture of peoples on consumption remain relevant in the modern conditions of a changing religious map of the world, since they allow predicting changes in the market for goods of individual countries (Said, Hassan, Musa, & Rahman, 2014; Stancu, 2015; White, Samuel, Zhou, Razak, & Thomas, 2017).

Problem Statement

Most of the research conducted focuses on cultural differences and on the characteristics of consumption of certain types of goods by consumers of different ethnic groups and religious commitment. It is noted that the structure of consumed goods depends on the structure of the population, the proportion of individual ethnic and religious groups living in the territory. As a rule, with an increase in the share of one ethnic group, the structure of the products consumed changes in favor of the goods consumed by this ethnic group. But in a multicultural world there can be no talk of simple repression. Long-term good-neighborly relations lead to the smoothing of differences. Consumer preferences in these conditions may become more blurred. In this case, with regard to ethnic groups changing consumption may be more

pronounced than in respect of denominational, which follow specific requirements of religion necessarily. Thus, the peculiarities of the formation of a consumer decision regarding certain types of food products of people belonging to different ethnic and confessional groups are currently insufficiently studied. If the extent to which religion and nationality affect the consumption of certain products is now known, how they will influence in the future in the context of increasing globalization is not clear. At the same time, the expansion of ideas about the prospects for the influence of religion and national culture on the differentiation of consumption in the regions is necessary in order to plan production development in the regions of the Russian Federation.

Research Questions

The subject of the research is consumer decisions regarding certain types of food products of people belonging to different ethnic and religious groups.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to identify the prospects for changes in consumer decisions in relation to certain types of food products of people belonging to different ethnic and religious groups.

Research Methods

We conducted a study of consumer decisions of people belonging to different ethnic and religious groups in several stages.

At the first stage, we compared data on the structure of the population by national and religious composition with the consumption of certain types of food products (meat and alcoholic beverages, in particular). A statistical analysis was applied, including statistical grouping and correlation.

At the second stage, we conducted a survey in which 1600 people from 14 cities of Russia took part. The age of respondents was from 18 to 55 years. The survey involved people 32 nationalities. However, due to statistical significance, only five national groups were analyzed: Russians, Armenians, Ukrainians, Kazakhs, Tatars, and Bashkirs. Among the respondents, 115 people did not decide on a national group. As for religion, the 148 people identified themselves as atheists, 141 - Muslim, 1189 - the Christians. Among those interviewed was a small amount of Buddhists and pagans. 99 people did not indicate affiliation to any faith and did not identify themselves as atheists. The respondents were asked questions regarding their faith and nationality, the nationality of the parents, their preferences in the choice of certain types of products, the frequency of consumption of meat products and alcoholic beverages. In situations where parents belonged to different ethnic and confessional groups, the question was asked about the ratio of national dishes on the family menu.

At the third stage, on the basis of the revealed tendencies, we modeled the process of smoothing the differences in consumption of certain ethnic groups. The starting point for building the model was that, with the union of two people of different nationalities, in a fraction of the cases, a child born in a mixed marriage receives nationality from one of the parents, and a consumption pattern from the other from parents. This variant is denoted by α, while the variant in which the nationality and consumption pattern is transferred by one nationality is denoted by á. Initially á equals p0. The likelihood of a mixed marriage is b. In the next generation, υ children born in b mixed marriages will get an option like α. The frequency of such variants will be bυ, and the frequency of variants of type á will be equal to р1 = р0 - bυ · р0 = р0 (1 - bυ). In the second generation, children with type á (the frequency of occurrence of which is now p1) will find a mate, and at birth they have children, children with type α will again arise (one nationality and the consumption pattern the other). The frequency á will be equal to р2 = р1 (1 - bυ) = р0 (1 - bυ) (1 - bυ) = р0 (l - bυ) 2. After t generations, the frequency of meeting people who have both a nationality and a consumption pattern for the same nationality (á) will be equal to р0 (1 - bυ) t. Note that p0 is not constant. In fact it varies, and is essentially a reproduction function p (t) of the population. Since the value (1 - bυ) <1, it is obvious that over time the frequency of occurrence of people with type á decreases. If this process continues indefinitely, then it tends to zero. This pattern is quite clear: in each generation, some of the children take a variant α, then sooner or later, people with type á will not remain - they all turn into type α. That is, there will be a complete erasure of differences in consumption between ethnic groups. But this process has a reverse movement. A man, after a series of years, having studied the culture of his people or having fallen into another environment, can return to consumption peculiar to his nationality. That is, both one-sided (á -> α) and two-sided (á -> α and α -> á) changes are possible. In addition, p (t), b and υ have their own tendencies, determined primarily by the cultural openness of ethnic groups. Thus, different probability groups are peculiar to different national groups (p (t) 1, b1, υ1; p (t) 2, b2, υ2, etc.).

Findings

Religious people follow certain rules, including those associated with eating (Marushkina, 2014; Maddahi, 2014). About restrictions for believers is written in the holy books. In order to analyze the influence of religion on meat consumption, we compared the data on the number of believers published by the Non-Profit Research Service «Sreda» in 2012 and the data of the Federal State Statistics Service on livestock numbers in 2017. (Table 1 ). Due to the lack of significant more recent data on the structure of the faithful, we agree with the temporary difference arises which, in our opinion, given the low rate of change in habits is not essential.

Table 1 -
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First of all, the inverse correlation is revealed between the number of Muslims and the number of pigs. In general, it is -0.55 for farms, and even -0.59 for farms of the population. There is a significant direct connection between the share of sheep, goats in the total number of livestock and the share of Buddhists. In general, the value of the correlation coefficient for farms is 0.83.

These dependencies confirmed the results of a sociological survey conducted by the authors on the frequency of consumption of certain types of meat in the context of ethnic and religious groups presented in Figure 1 . Among the respondents, Muslims consume much less pork and consume more types of meat such as mutton, horse meat and poultry meat. However, the fact that 9% of all respondents identified themselves as adherents of Islam, while 49% of them eat pork, including 18% weekly, suggests that not all adherents of a particular denomination observe its provisions.

Figure 1: The consumption structure in the context of denominations according to the survey, 2017
The consumption structure in the context of denominations according to the survey, 2017
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In terms of ethnic groups the result was less pronounced. The survey showed that Tatars and Bashkirs consume less pork, Russians - lamb, Kazakhs - fish. In general, this corresponds to national preferences. However, the results indicate a significant erosion of commitment to individual products, typical of dishes of individual national cuisines. Further, we considered the difference between confessional groups for the consumption of alcoholic beverages. The survey results showed that Muslims were almost twice likely to indicate that they do not drink alcohol or use it very rarely than the other respondents. Comparison of the volume of retail sales of alcoholic beverages and the ethnic structure of the subjects of the Russian Federation showed a close relationship between the share of Muslims and the volume of sales of alcoholic beverages per capita (R = -0.698). As can be seen from Table 2 , in the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic and the Republic of Dagestan they consume the least amount of alcoholic beverages, and here most Muslim believers.

Table 2 -
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3.6% of respondents found it difficult to answer the question “Do the traditions of your family influence your eating habits?” 76.9% answered negatively and only 19.4% answered positively. The questionnaire also asked if the national dishes of which of the parents are consumed more often. We proceeded from the fact that it would be possible to determine the risk in which household consumption may change in the future. The results suggest that decisive are the national preferences in the dish on the part of the mother. 38% of those surveyed were born in a mixed barrack, while in 53% of cases they prefer the mother’s national cuisine and only 14% prefer the father’s. The remaining 33% of those undecided can be partly regarded as equal consumption of the national dishes of the father and mother. Moreover, according to a survey in mixed marriages, the nationality of children coincides with the nationality of the father. All this allows us to highlight the tendency to erase national portraits, which can be modeled. The starting point for building a model is that with the union of two people of different nationalities, in a certain proportion of cases the child born in a mixed marriage receives nationality from one of the parents, and the consumption pattern from the other from parents. As a result, in adulthood, he broadcasts consumption not peculiar to his nationality, thereby blurring the ethnic portrait.

Building on this idea, we tried to assess the prospects of this process. First of all, it should be noted that in Russia there is a decrease in the number of households in which both family members belong to the same nationality. According to data from population censuses, nationally mixed families in 1959 were 8.3%, in 1970 - 10.7%, in 2010 - 11.09% of the population clearly indicated that they belonged to different nationalities, and 4.9% did not indicate their nationality at all. Thus, we are seeing a gradual increase in the number of mixed marriages.

For the purpose of modeling, in addition to the proportion of marriages between people of different nationalities, it is necessary to determine the probability of a change in the national type of consumption. In this paper, we relied on the results of the survey, according to which in 53% of cases children acquire the option α (one nationality, and the type of consumption belongs to another nationality). As a result of the calculations, it was established that the erasure of national portraits will occur in 312 generations (excluding reverse transitions). At the same time, after 50 generations, the share of people with blurred boundaries will significantly exceed the number of people adhering to all aspects of the national culture. In general, we are now at the level of rapid erasure of national borders, which is facilitated by migration openness and the development of transport links.

The application of this model to the evaluation of the erasure of confessional differences in our opinion is not advisable, since in the case of confessions, closeness is more pronounced and reverse transitions occur more often.

Conclusion

In order to identify the prospects for changes in consumer decisions of people belonging to different ethnic and confessional groups, we analyzed the consumption of certain types of meat and alcoholic beverages. During the study, we found that Muslims are the most consuming ones. They consume less alcohol and pork and a little more consume such types of meat as mutton, horse meat and poultry meat. It is also noted that some Muslims are not strictly adhering to restrictions in food products imposed by the Koran. Important for the understanding of changes in consumer decisions prospects became survey conducted in the 14 largest cities of Russia. According to the data obtained, decisive are the national preferences in the dish on the part of the mother. Thus, with the union of two people of different nationalities, in a certain proportion of cases a child born in a mixed marriage receives nationality from one of the parents, and the consumption pattern from the other parents. As a result, in adulthood, he broadcasts consumption not peculiar to his nationality, thereby blurring the ethnic portrait. Based on this conclusion, modeling has made it possible to establish that in 50 generations the proportion of people with blurred boundaries will significantly exceed the number of people adhering to the national culture.

The above trends are observed with varying intensity throughout the world. For example, foreign scientists point out that the differentiation in meat consumption between China and India is associated with the influence of religion (Stancu, 2015). Given this feature, scientists and manufacturers predict the consumption of certain products for the long term. Therefore, they need to pay attention to the factors of change in consumption. Turning to the peculiarities of China, it is necessary to reflect on the fact that there is now on the one hand, « a low proportion of adherents of religions that prohibit or prevent the consumption of certain types of meat, such as Buddhism (18.2%) and Islam (1.8%)», (Stancu, 2015), and on the other hand, a high proportion of men who, in the face of a shortage of women, can consider marriages with women of other ethnic groups. Such marriages may change the nature and amount of consumption of individual products in the future.

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29 March 2019

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Timiryanova*, V. (2019). Perspectives Of Influence Of Religion And National Culture On Differentiation Of Consumption. In & D. K. Bataev (Ed.), Social and Cultural Transformations in the Context of Modern Globalism, vol 58. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 2373-2380). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2019.03.02.274