Cultural Omnivores’ Consumption: Strategic and Inclusively Exclusive

Yoo Jin Kwon, Kyoung-Nan Kwon


This study explores cultural dispositions and consumption practices of cultural omnivores whose tastes align with those of high-status people in the U.S. Peterson and colleagues first identified the shift in status markers from snobbish and highbrow tastes to eclectic and omnivorous ones. Our findings suggest that cultural omnivores are characterized by two traits: superior self-perception in taste and cultural tolerance. These traits indicate that their prestige is sustained by their cultural styles, which are simultaneously broad and exclusive. Cultural omnivores also tend to engage in multifaceted experiences in food consumption and appearance-related goods (i.e., clothing), as well as Internet usage. We believe that the multiplicity observed in the current study reflects the highly strategic nature of the everyday consumption practices of cultural omnivores. We conclude that the qualities of elite consumers (i.e., cultural capital) are translated into omnivorous cultural consumption and a strategic and practical type of everyday consumption. The findings of this study have implications for marketing to high-status consumer segments characterized by a strong buying power and opinion leadership.

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International Journal of Marketing Studies  ISSN 1918-719X(Print) ISSN 1918-7203(Online)

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