ArticlePDF Available

Abstract and Figures

The Islamic culture is one of the largest and most unique cultures in the world and interest in Muslim related behaviour is increasing, although few marketers possess adequate knowledge and experience to interact appropriately with the various aggregate ethnic subgroups that make up the Muslim culture. Some new middle class Muslims are acutely aware of the dilemma of practising middle-classness in a contemporary lifestyle through the genuine and proper forms of consumption while also maintaining a religious identity that embodies piety. The consumption convergence or divergence represents the recognition of the changing nature of the world including the rapid developments in society brought about by economic development, urbanisation and access to the influences of other cultures through modernisation. This paper is a conceptual paper that proposes the idea of convergence and divergence of consumption behaviour and values. It hopes to give insight into the possible factors influencing the consumption trend and process of negotiating conflicting values of the modern middle-class Muslims as a means for a contemporary modern lifestyle. A conceptual framework outlining the factors affecting the cultural convergence and preference intention and consumption behaviour is proposed. Understanding the convergence and divergence issues in consumption is important to predict the potential market growth, segmentation, Islamic marketing and branding. The focus on the middle class and the policies for promoting it is rooted in the belief that the middle class is an important prerequisite for a stronger, more sustainable economic growth and development in the future. Keywords: Consumer behaviour, Islamic culture, consumption pattern
Content may be subject to copyright.
INDIAN JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT SCIENCE (IJMS) EISSN 2231-279X ISSN 2249-0280
www.scholarshub.net Vol.– III, Issue – 4, Oct. 2013
42
CONCEPTUALIZING CONVERGENCE AND DIVERGENCE
OF MUSLIM CONSUMPTION BEHAVIOUR IN MALAYSIA
Dr. Siti Hasnah Hassan,
School of Management
Universiti Sains Malaysia.
Dr. Malliga Marimuthu,
School of Management
Universiti Sains Malaysia.
Ernest Cyril de Run,
Professor
University Malaysia Sarawak, Malaysia.
ABSTRACT
The Islamic culture is one of the largest and most unique cultures in the world and interest in Muslim
related behaviour is increasing, although few marketers possess adequate knowledge and experience
to interact appropriately with the various aggregate ethnic subgroups that make up the Muslim culture.
Some new middle class Muslims are acutely aware of the dilemma of practising middle-classness in a
contemporary lifestyle through the genuine and proper forms of consumption while also maintaining a
religious identity that embodies piety. The consumption convergence or divergence represents the
recognition of the changing nature of the world including the rapid developments in society brought
about by economic development, urbanisation and access to the influences of other cultures through
modernisation. This paper is a conceptual paper that proposes the idea of convergence and divergence
of consumption behaviour and values. It hopes to give insight into the possible factors influencing the
consumption trend and process of negotiating conflicting values of the modern middle-class Muslims
as a means for a contemporary modern lifestyle. A conceptual framework outlining the factors
affecting the cultural convergence and preference intention and consumption behaviour is proposed.
Understanding the convergence and divergence issues in consumption is important to predict the
potential market growth, segmentation, Islamic marketing and branding. The focus on the middle class
and the policies for promoting it is rooted in the belief that the middle class is an important
prerequisite for a stronger, more sustainable economic growth and development in the future.
Keywords: Consumer behaviour, Islamic culture, consumption pattern
INDIAN JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT SCIENCE (IJMS) EISSN 2231-279X ISSN 2249-0280
www.scholarshub.net Vol.– III, Issue – 4, Oct. 2013
43
Introduction:
Consumer behaviour is changing around the world due to the improvement in economic conditions and the
advancement of technology. Over the past twenty years, due to the shifting of economic and political power in
emerging economies, a number of developing nations have come to be centres of solid development, and,
essentially, raising their portion of the global earnings (Kharas, 2010). The poverty reduction caused by the rise of
the middle class contrasts from the unfortunate in terms of their domestic characteristics, which are consistent with
their living standards. These include rural or urban residence, geographical location, family size, and education.
The growth has also resulted in substantial social, political, and environmental changes. Likewise, the growth of the
middle class Muslims is coming into existence slowly and gradually. The middle class Muslims play a vital role in
facing the challenges of creative and dynamic living in the modern world.
The Islamic culture is one of the largest and most unique cultures in the world. Although interest is increasing in
Muslim related behaviour, not many marketers possess sufficient qualified information and experience to suitably
identify with the different ethnic subgroups that make up the Muslim society. The Muslim consumer market, which
comprises 1.8 billion people, is undeniably the next important global opportunity. The Muslim population is set to
double from 1.1 billion in 1990 to 2.2 billion in 2030 (Pew Research Center, 2011 ). The Halal business sector
alone is worth a stunning US$2.1 trillion a year and is developing at US$500bn a year because of the growth of the
Muslim populace worldwide (TNS Middle East & Africa, 2010). Muslims require products and brands that are
associated with their lifestyle, and the term Muslim Lifestyle Market has been used to describe these lifestyle
products and services. The categories include food, clothing, travel service, resorts, media, publications, and
Islamic financial services and products.
The rise of the middle class is evident, especially in developing countries, such as Malaysia and other Muslim
countries around the world, where the socio infrastructure is improving rapidly. As stated by Landes (1998), the
middle class was a driving force in the faster pace of economic development in many developed countries in the
nineteenth-century. The word „middle-class‟ or „intermediate class‟ means that the group is in between the upper-
class and the lower-class groups in the community. They mainly comprise the educated people from the
professional, management and administration sectors. In Malaysia, the Muslim middle-class signify a modern
lifestyle with positive consumerism. They have a taste for luxury and branded products to suit their comfortable
lifestyle as a modern middle-class Muslim (Mujani et al., 2012).
Changing Consumption Pattern:
Levitt (1983) argued that new technology might expedite the homogenisation of consumer wants and needs in light
of the fact that purchasers are required to lean towards standard products of high quality and low price as opposed
to the additional customised, higher priced products. The globalization of markets is dependent upon the
presumption that consumer behaviour is reasonable and rational. To an ever expanding degree, researchers have
determined that consumers are frequently not rational and do not settle on buying choices that maximise utility.
More and more, the presumption of judiciousness is viewed as implausible and places consumers outside a social
and cultural context (McCracken 1989; Süerdem 1993; Antonides 1998).
Nations around the world have become more and more similar due to economic advancement, modernization and
communication through business and exchange. A great part of the likeness is determined by industrialization (Kerr
et al., 1960). The modernization theory contends that with time and economic advancement, distinctive social
orders will come to be progressively comparative to one another (Eisenstadt, 1965). This idea is also held by neo-
classical ideologues, such as Francis Fukuyama (1992), who posited the theory that all societies will have a similar
economic and political system in the long-term. Fukuyama (1992) believes that capitalism and liberal democracy
are the end states of social systems, which have passed through similar phases of economic and social development.
Similarly, work by authors, such as Friedman (2006) and Zivko (2006), support the proposition of convergence
between nation states at the aggregate „meta level‟. This occurs, even though market segmentation, mass
customization and individualization are creating increasingly fragmented markets.
Despite the long held economic rational theory, consumer behaviour is both diverging and converging, which to a
certain extent depends on the strength of consumer values. According to Roosa, Dumka, Gonzales and Knight
(2002, p. 3), “value systems change as ecological niches change (i.e., historical change) and as people move into
new ecological niches”. There is considerable proof from past exploration and research (Bronfenbrenner, 1986;
Hoff-Ginsberg & Tardiff, 1995; Super & Harkness, 1986) to infer that the value system of a given ethnic
INDIAN JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT SCIENCE (IJMS) EISSN 2231-279X ISSN 2249-0280
www.scholarshub.net Vol.– III, Issue – 4, Oct. 2013
44
aggregation can differ on account of progressions to income, occupation, living conditions and length and force of
exposure to an alternate society and culture.
Income, media, and technology are converging due to modernization and globalization (De Mooij, 1998; De Mooij
& Hofstede, 2002). At a certain point in time, culture replaces wealth as a predictor variable. Some authors agree
that convergence can lead to homogeneous consumer needs, tastes, and lifestyles (Assael, 1998, p. 501; Bullmore,
2000, p. 48; De Mooij, 1998; De Mooij & Hofstede, 2002).
Convergence happens when nations achieve similar levels of economic development, because they become more
alike in terms of social status and life (Coughlin, 2001). Peacock, Hoover and Killian (1988, p. 842) stated that
“convergence is equivalent to reduction in inequality” and that “divergence is an increase in inequality”. These
definitions are intended to contextualize the inequality between nations undergoing international economic
development. There is evidence in social change studies that differences between societies decrease over time
(Baum, 1974; Weinberg, 1969). Coughlin (2001, p. 1) defined the convergence theory as: “the hypothesized link
between economic development and concomitant changes in social organization, particularly work and industrial
organization, class structure, demographic patterns, characteristics of the family, education and the role of
government in assuring basic social and economic security”.
Converging or Diverging?
New technology would lead to the homogenization of consumer wants and needs. Convergence or divergence can
occur due to the changes in the socio-economic development mainly from urbanization, modernization,
industrialization and globalization that affects social changes – which leads to changes in lifestyle and value
systems. In spite of the fact that this idea may be controversial, one may contend that economic advancement is
connected with alterations away from absolute norms and values, and is moving towards values that are
progressively rational, tolerant, trusting, and participatory (Inglehart & Baker, 2000). In addition, there is
considerable proof from past research (Bronfenbrenner, 1986; Hoff-Ginsberg & Tardiff, 1995; Super & Harkness,
1986) that value systems vary because of differences in income, occupation, living conditions, and the length and
strength of exposure to other cultures within any ethnic group itself.
Despite the controversy, some degree of convergence is a fact. Although it is evident that consumption behaviour is
either converging or diverging, to date, there are not many researchers addressing this issue. Convergence theories
used to be very popular in the 1960s and early 1970s (Alex Inkeles & Smith, 1974; Kerr et al., 1960; Rostow,
1960). Other authors who discussed the merits and shortcomings of the convergence theory are Coughlin (2001),
Inkeles (1999) and Wilensky (2002). Marketing related discussions relating to convergence and divergence issues
in global marketing have been voiced by de Mooij and Hofstede (2002). Some other studies relating to the
convergence theory have been heavily criticized because of overly broad applications (Coughlin, 2001), and,
subsequently, have been modified or rejected by many scholars (Inglehart, 1997; Inglehart & Baker, 2000; Welzel
et al., 2003). The examples of studies are world society study (Meyer et al., 1997; Peacock et al., 1988), a world
value system (Inglehart & Baker, 2000), changes in organizations worldwide (McGaughey & De-Cieri, 1999), and
overall industrial societies, international economics and geopolitical forces.
As stated by Coughlin (2001), somehow it is hard to examine a worthy macro theory of social change that does not
allude to the idea of convergence. Inkeles (1981) stated that the earlier versions of the convergence theory were
controversial in that they failed to distinguish adequately between different elements of the social system. He
suggested that there is a way to assess convergence by dividing the social system into at least five elements. First is
the modes of construction and patterns of resource use; second is in institutional clusters and institutional forms,
third is in structures or patterns of social relations, fourth is in systems of widespread attitudes, values, and
behaviour, and fifth is the systems of political and economic control. The existing convergence theory is fifty years
old and some recent studies relating to the theory are ten years old and heavily criticised; until today, there is still
no specific framework or instrument to measure convergence. For this reason, there is a need to re-specify the new
visions and interpretations of convergence theory and its properties. Rapid economic growth has reduced poverty
across Asia, and the middle class has grown rapidly in size and spending power (Asian Development Bank, 2010).
The ascent of the middle class is also expected to help the development process as well as affect the substantial
social, political, and environmental changes. In Malaysia, due to socioeconomics and globalization, the marketplace
is flooded with foreign brands. Regardless of their country of origin, Muslim consumers seem to have no problem
accepting the products. For example, The US goods trade in Malaysia was $23.3 billion in 2005, an increase of $6.0
billion from $17.3 billion in 2004 (Foreign Trade).
INDIAN JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT SCIENCE (IJMS) EISSN 2231-279X ISSN 2249-0280
www.scholarshub.net Vol.– III, Issue – 4, Oct. 2013
45
In Malaysia, the convergence may be the result of government policy to promote openness between different ethnic
groups, such as the „1 Malaysia‟ concept. This concept is to unite the nation beyond the boundaries of race,
ethnicity and religion. The idea is to build the nation and to alleviate poverty by providing an improved
infrastructure and a comfortable lifestyle. According to Hassan (2011a), the convergence of consumption can be
observed in health related values in Malaysia. Malay, Chinese and Indian consumers have a similar motive for
choosing to consume food with curative properties maintaining ideal health and preventing or curing illness. To
some extent, this shared goal increases the similarity and equality of these consumers. Thus, cultural convergence
occurs in the consumption of functional food because consumers are willing to consume health-related foods that
are culturally-based or inter-culturally based (Hassan, 2011a, 2011b).
Based on the idea of convergence and divergence theory, the conceptual model is proposed to illustrate the
convergence and divergence of consumption behaviour and values. The model gives insights into the possible
factors that influence the consumption trend and process of negotiating the conflicting values of modern middle-
class Muslims, as a means for a contemporary modern lifestyle. A conceptual framework that outlines the factors
that affect the cultural convergence and the effect of preference intention and consumption behaviour is proposed.
The Proposed Conceptual Framework of Convergence and Divergence of Behavioural Consumption of Muslims:
Based on observation and evidence from the literature, the conceptual framework is developed to illustrate how
socio-economic development can cause a structural change that encourages social interaction and lead to changes in
the lifestyle and value system. Over time, these changes promote cultural convergence or divergence of
consumption behaviour. The model implies several propositions that will be discussed in the subsequent headings.
However, not all factors can reasonably be examined within the scope of this paper. Therefore, priority is given to
address the major components or factors influencing the structure of convergence of the behavioural consumption
of Muslim consumers.
Figure 1: Proposed Conceptual Framework: The Convergence and Divergence of
the Consumption Behaviour of Muslims
Social Structural Changes:
The changes and improvement in consumer lifestyle can actually encourage the divergence or convergence of the
cultural values of consumers. Convergence or divergence of cultural values can occur due to changes in socio-
economic development that are mainly from urbanization, modernization, industrialization and globalization, and
which affects the social changes that lead to changes in the lifestyle and value systems. One aspect of social change
is economic development that promotes changes in the value system towards values that are more coherent
(Inglehart & Baker, 2000). Previous research proved that value systems can diverge due to the improvement in the
standard of living that is contributed by education, income, occupation, and living conditions (Bronfenbrenner,
1986; Hoff-Ginsberg & Tardiff, 1995; Super & Harkness, 1986).
Values/ Cultural
Divergence
Cultural
values
Preference
Formation
Individual and
contextual
influence,
product
experience
Value
negotiation
process
(Prioritizing
and
Balancing
Values)
Converging/
Diverging of
Muslim’s
Consumption
Behaviour
Change
Islamic
Values
Personal
Values
Socio-economic
development
(Urbanization,
Modernization,
Industrialization &
Globalization)
Social structural
changes
Changes in
lifestyle
Values/ Cultural
Convergence
INDIAN JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT SCIENCE (IJMS) EISSN 2231-279X ISSN 2249-0280
www.scholarshub.net Vol.– III, Issue – 4, Oct. 2013
46
Value negotiation:
Value negotiation is an internal process faced by the consumer during the decision making process. Although
conflicting values are resolved through a method called the value negotiation process, the nature of this process
remains mainly unexplored by researchers (Hassan, 2011a). Consumers negotiate their values in their own
particular way when confronted with conflicting decision making situations. Connors, Bisogni, Sobal and Devine
(2001) outline three main processes in values negotiation relevant to the personal values systems: (i) “categorizing
values system”, (i)prioritization of conflicting consumption related values”, and (iii) “balancing strategies and
priorities across consumption situations to meet salient values” (p. 193). In complex decision-making processes,
consumers use simplifying heuristics of the sort described by Onken, Hastie and Revelle (1985). They noted that
consumers faced with increasingly complex decisions tended to adopt simplification strategies.
Preference Formation:
The formation of preference by consumers towards a product is a dynamic process. This understanding is consistent
with most of the previous empirical evidence signifying that preferences are not simply discovered, they are
actually constructed throughout the process of their elicitation (Coupey et al., 1998; Fischhoff et al., 1980; Payne et
al., 1992). Consumer experiences are the foundation of preference structures, and the processes connected with
such experiences lead to preferences that stabilize over time (Hoeffler & Ariely, 1999). As consumers gain
experience in a domain, either from the experiences relating to the particular products or related to knowledge of
the products; consumer preference formation will stabilize. According to Wertenbroach and Carmon (1997),
dynamic consumer preferences are frequently directed at the task or goal of managing internal or external
resources. However, consumer choice is constrained by the availability of internal resources, such as the
physiological, cognitive, or emotional resources that consumers bring to the purchase or consumption task.
Available empirical evidence shows that consumers appear to manage their internal hedonic resources by directly
modifying their preferences as a function of whether they expect repeated exposure to hedonic stimuli, and as a
function of the cost of avoiding aversive stimuli (Gibbs, 1997).
Discussion and Conclusion:
The unique aspects of the Malaysian society have been explained as well as the issues surrounding the concept of
cultural convergence. The main theme is that no previous research has attempted a similar study in a multicultural
society. To date, research has primarily been based on the United States or Europe, which have dominant cultures
that guide interaction nationally. A white Anglo-Saxon culture dominates the United States and is the model to
which subcultures aspire, possibly because of the predominance of white Anglo-Saxons in the political and
economic elite of that country. A similar situation exists in Europe, where the national culture is influenced by a
more or less homogenous elite that holds the economic and political sway.
In Malaysia, matters are different: the identities of the main ethnic groups are a relatively recent phenomenon due
to the emergence of Malay nationalism and the amalgamation of other ethnic groups into Chinese and Indian
classifications as part of the social contract Britain required before granting independence. Following
independence, race consciousness evolved along these official lines, but political power (the domain of the Malays)
remains separated from economic power (the domain of the Chinese). In the Malaysian context, the concept of a
dominant culture with a single set of values desired by the majority is questionable. However, economic
development, government policies and interaction at the individual level means that some degree of convergence
can be expected. Living in close proximity is an important part of fostering interaction and breaking down
differences between the various ethnic groups (Tan, 1982). The Malaysian environment fosters strong social
interaction in schools, colleges and the workplace. New housing estates comprising Malays, Chinese and Indians
are an important way of promoting inter-ethnic relationships. Constant interaction ensures greater mutual
understanding and respect. In contrast, a lack of interpersonal interaction tends to reinforce stereotypes and hostility
at the group level (Tan, 1982). Social change can cause changes in the human or individual value systems.
According to Tan (1982), there are three main ways to facilitate interaction beyond impersonal commercial
encounters. First, members of one ethnic group breach their own cultural norms to interact with members of another
group. Second, members of one ethnic group adopt the cultural practices of another ethnic group as the basis of
interaction. Third, members of the two ethnic groups do not breach their own cultural norms or adopt the norms of
the other. In the last case, the two groups develop mutually acceptable norms for interacting. In Malaysia, the ethnic
INDIAN JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT SCIENCE (IJMS) EISSN 2231-279X ISSN 2249-0280
www.scholarshub.net Vol.– III, Issue – 4, Oct. 2013
47
groups interact and enjoy good relationships, usually via the third approach described above (Tan, 1982). Malays,
Chinese and Indians respect each other‟s cultural norms, without adopting each other‟s cultural practices. The
evidence shows that, to a certain degree, cultural practices change and converge over time. Lee & Tse (1994) stated
that some consumption behaviours may be ingrained in ethnic identity while others are not. Therefore, based on the
discussion, some culturally-based consumption behaviours may converge over time. Cultural value convergence
means that the cultures of the ethnic groups tend to become more alike due to increasing social interactions.
In conclusion, studying the convergence of consumer behaviour is an essential part of successful strategic
marketing. The consumption pattern in developing countries like Malaysia is shifting and moving towards a
consumption pattern that is similar to advanced countries, to a great extent, as an after effect of higher earnings,
urbanisation and social and economic conversion. Understanding the consumer consumption pattern will enable
marketers to understand and predict how consumers will act and spend their money. This paper will contribute to
the body of literature in providing the means to understanding the factors that contribute to the convergence and
divergence of Muslim consumption behaviour theory. The information will guide practitioners and industries in
predicting the potential market growth, segmentation, Islamic marketing and branding.
References:
[1] Asian Development Bank. (2010). The rise of Asia ’s middle class. Manila, Philippines: Asian Development Bank.
[2] Assael, H. (1998). Consumer Behavior and Marketing Action (6 ed.). U.S.A. : ITP Publishing.
[3] Baum, R. C. (1974). Beyond Convergence: Toward Theoretical Relevance in Quantitative Modernization
Research. Sociological Inquiry, 44:, 225-240.
[4] Bronfenbrenner, U. (1986). Ecology of the Family as a Context for Human Development: Research
Perspectives. Developmental Psychology, 22, 723742.
[5] Bullmore, J. (2000). Alice in Disneyland, a creative view of international advertising. In J. P. Jones (Ed.),
International Advertising, Realities and Myths. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
[6] Connors, M., Bisogni, C. A., Sobal, J., & Devine, C. M. (2001). Managing Values in Personal Food Systems.
Appetite, 36(3), 189-200.
[7] Coughlin, R. M. (2001). Convergence Theories. In E. F. Borgatta & M. L. Borgatta (Eds.), Encyclopedia of
Sociology (2 ed.).
[8] Coupey, E., Irwin, J. R., & Payne, J. W. (1998). Product Category Familiarity and Preference Construction.
The Journal of Consumer Research, 24(4), 459-468.
[9] De Mooij, M. (1998). Global Marketing and Advertising Understanding Cultural Paradoxes. London: Sage
Publications.
[10] De Mooij, M., & Hofstede, G. (2002). Convergence and Divergence in Consumer Behavior: Implications for
International Retailing. Journal of Retailing, 78(1), 61-69.
[11] Eisenstadt, S. N. (1965). Transformation of Social Political, and Cultural Orders in Modernization. American
Sociological Review, 30(5), 659-673.
[12] Fischhoff, B., Slovic, P., & Lichtenstein, S. (1980). Knowing What You Want: Measuring Labile Values. In
T. Wallstein (Ed.), Cognitive processes in choice and decision behavior (pp. 117-141). (pp. 117-141).
Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
[13] Foreign Trade. Foreign Trade Barriers: Malaysia. Retrieved from
http://www.ftamalaysia.org/file_dir/18190573044cd7d79723c8.pdf
[14] Friedman, T. L. (2006). The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty First Century. London: Penguin.
[15] Fukuyama, F. (1992). The End of History and the Last Man New York: Simon & Schuster.
[16] Gibbs, J. B. (1997). Predisposing the Decision Maker Versus Framing the Decision: A Consumer-
Manipulation Approach to Dynamic Preference Marketing Letters, 8(1), 7183.
[17] Hassan, S. H. (2011a). Managing Conflicting Values in Functional Food Consumption: The Malaysian
Experience. British Food Journal, 113(11).
[18] Hassan, S. H. (2011b). Understanding Preference Formation of Functional Food among Malaysian Muslims
In O. Sandikci & G. Rice (Eds.), Handbook of Islamic Marketing (pp. 162-186). Massachusetts, USA:
Edward Elgar Publishing.
[19] Hoeffler, S., & Ariely, D. (1999). Constructing Stable Preferences: A Look Into Dimensions of Experience
and Their Impact on Preference Stability. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 8(2), 113-139.
INDIAN JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT SCIENCE (IJMS) EISSN 2231-279X ISSN 2249-0280
www.scholarshub.net Vol.– III, Issue – 4, Oct. 2013
48
[20] Hoff-Ginsberg, E., & Tardiff, T. (1995). Socioeconomic Status and Parenting. In M. H. Bornstein (Ed.),
Handbook of parenting (Vol. 2, pp. 161188). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
[21] Inglehart, R. (1997). Modernization and Postmodernization. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
[22] Inglehart, R., & Baker, W. E. (2000). Modernization, Cultural Change, and the Persistence of Traditional
Values. American Sociological Review, 65(1), 19-51.
[23] Inkeles, A. (1981). Convergence and Divergence in Industrial Societies. In M. O. Attir, B. Holzner & Z. Suda
(Eds.), Direction of Change (pp. 3-38): Boulder, Co.
[24] Inkeles, A. (1999). One World Emerging? Convergence and Divergence in industrial Societies. . Boulder,
Colorado: Estview Press.
[25] Inkeles, A., & Smith, D. H. (1974). Becoming Modern: Individual Change in Six Developing Countries.
Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
[26] Kerr, C., Dunlop, J. T., Harbison, F. H., & Myers, C. A. (1960). Industrialism and Industrial Man: The Problems
of Labor and Management in Economic Growth. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
[27] Kharas, H. (2010). The Emerging Middle Class in Developing Countries: OECD Development Centre.
[28] Landes, D. (1998). The Wealth and Poverty of Nations. New York, NY: Norton
[29] Lee, W., & Tse, D. K. (1994). Becoming Canadian: Understanding How Hong Kong Immigrants Change
Their Consumption. Pacific Affairs, 67(1), 70-95.
[30] McGaughey, S. L., & De-Cieri, H. (1999). Reassessment of Convergence and Divergence Dynamics:
Implications for International HRM. International Journal of Human Resource Management 10(2), 235-250.
[31] Meyer, J. W., Boli, J., Thomas, G. M., & Ramirez, F. O. (1997). World society and the nation-state. The
American Journal of Sociology, 103(1), 144.
[32] Mujani, W. K., Hussain, W. M. H. W., Ya‟akub, N. I., Kasri, A., & Rozali, E. A. (2012). The Political and
Economic Contributions of the Muslim Middle Class in Malaysia. Advances in Natural and Applied Sciences,
6(3), 285-295.
[33] Onken, J., Hastie, R., & Revelle, W. (1985). Individual Differences in the Use of Simplification Strategies in
a Complex Decision-Making Task. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 11, 14-27.
[34] Payne, J. W., Bettman, J. R., & Johnson, E. J. (1992). Behavioral Decision Research: A Constructive
Processing Perspective. Annual Review of Psychology, 43, 87-131.
[35] Peacock, W. G., Hoover, G. A., & Killian, C. D. (1988). Divergence and Convergence in International
Development: A Decomposition Analysis of Inequality in the World System. American Sociological Review,
53(6), 838.
[36] Pew Research Center. ( 2011 ). The Future of the Global Muslim Population: Projections for 2010-2030.
Retrieved from Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life website:
[37] Roosa, M. W., Dumka, L. E., Gonzales, N. A., & Knight, G. P. (2002). Cultural/Ethnic Issues and the
Prevention Scientist in the 21st Century. Prevention & Treatment, 5(January), 1-13.
[38] Rostow, W. W. (1960). The Stages of Economic Growth. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge
University Press.
[39] Super, C. M., & Harkness, S. (1986). The Developmental Niche: A Conceptualization of the Interface of
Child and Culture. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 9, 545569.
[40] Tan, C. B. (1982). Ethnic Relations in Malaysia. In D. Y. H. Wu (Ed.), Ethnicity and Interpersonal
Interaction: A Cross Cultural Study (pp. 37-61). Republic of Singapore: Maruzen Asia.
[41] TNS Middle East & Africa. (2010). Islamic Branding Brands, Islam and the New Muslim Consumer
Retrieved from http://www.tnsglobal.com/news/news-429C6A10D9FC46018571F8D5CA369308.aspx
[42] Weinberg, I. (1969). The Problem of the Convergence of Industrial Societies: A Critical Look at the State of
the Theory. Comparative Studies in Society and History, 11, 1-15.
[43] Welzel, C., Inglehart, R., & Kligemann, H.-D. (2003). The Theory of Human Development: A Cross-Cultural
Analysis. European Journal of Political Research, 42(3), 341-379. doi: doi:10.1111/1475-6765.00086
[44] Zivko, T. (2006). The Economic-Cultural Context of the EU Economies. Kybernetes, 35(7/8), 1024-1036.
****
... They mainly comprise the educated people from the professional, management and administration sectors. In Malaysia, the Muslim middle-class signifies a modern lifestyle with positive consumerism (Hassan, Marimuthu, & Run, 2013). They have a taste for luxury and branded products to suit their comfortable lifestyle as a modern middle-class Muslim . ...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose – The purpose of this study is to investigate the influence of religious values (RGV) on green purchase intention (GPI) among middle-class Muslims in Malaysia. The demand for environmentally green products is growing to facilitate the changing consumption pattern due to the substantial interest in ethical consumerism. Despite the potential impact of RGV on ethical consumption, it is difficult to find studies that embark on linking RGV towards this type of consumption, especially in a developing Muslim country such as Malaysia. Design/methodology/approach – Data were collected through a self-administered questionnaire survey that was distributed using the purposive sampling method. The final useful sample consists of 140 middle-class Muslim participants. The partial least squares (PLS) structural equation was used to develop the model showing the relationship between RGV and intention to purchase green products for middle-class Muslims in Malaysia. Findings – The results suggest that there is an indirect association between RGV towards attitude and GPI. RGV directly influence natural environmental orientation and environmental concern. In turn, consumer attitude towards green purchase directly affects the respondents’ GPI via the mediator role of nature orientation, green concern and knowledge. The results, besides indicating the suitability of the PLS in statistical analysis, also contribute to a better understanding of how RGV influence GPI among the Muslim middle class. Research limitations/implications – The model developed is specific to the Muslim population in Malaysia. Therefore, the model might only be able to be generalized to nations that have a similar culture to the Muslims in Malaysia or Muslim middle class in other developing countries. Practical implications – RGV are important in influencing green consumption behaviour. The environmental problem cannot just be solved with knowledge and technology but must be backed with moral and ethical imperatives. The ethical awareness and consciousness, backed up by legislation and prohibition, can encourage green behaviour not only from the individuals but also at the social group level. The enforcement of the law and the government play an important role in the implementation of green policies for the protection and conservation of mother Earth. Originality/value – This paper confirmed that behaviour is influenced by individual-level attributes, as well as by the conditions under which people live.
Article
In the context of Malaysia, the Muslim middle class consist of Malays, Chinese and Indians. Each of these three groups contributed hugely towards the development of the country, in the fields of economy, politics and social. Even so, studies on their contribution are still limited and are not highlighted by researchers in Malaysia. Therefore, this study has been carried out to discuss the Muslim middle class in Malaysia, focusing on their contribution to the fields of economy and politics. Their contribution in the economic sector can be seen through their active involvement in various kinds of businesses and industries. The involvement of these three groups especially in the professional field, management and administration has been very helpful to the country in enhancing its rate of employment and reducing the rate of unemployment. Furthermore, these large groups of people have a high purchasing power and are capable of giving a big leap towards consumerism culture in Malaysia. Indirectly, this is greatly contributing towards the development and advancement of the country, through the increasing demand for certain products and services. Their contribution in politics can be observed through their involvement in the main political parties in Malaysia, such as the United Malay National Organization (UMNO), the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), the Congress of Indian Muslims Malaysia (KIMMA), and also other non-government bodies.
Article
List of Tables and Figures Preface Part 1 - General Perspectives 1. The Emerging Structure of World Society A Set of Basic Concepts and a Historical Excursus The Recent Modern Era The Main Elements of Convergence Conclusion 2. Convergence and Divergence in Industrial Societies A Set of Hypotheses and Propositions Forms of Convergence Forms of Divergence Units, Levels, and Time Part 2 - Comparing Nation-States 3. Were the Soviet Union and the United States Converging? Some Features of Social Structure in the United States and the Soviet Union Problems in Comparative Structural Analysis 4. Modernization in India and Other Developing Countries Thinking About Modernity Five Qualities of a Modern Nation Modernity in Organizations and Institutions On What Makes an Individual Modern 5. The Generalist Meets the China Specialist Disentangling Chinese Culture and Leninism-Maoism Identifying Processes of Systematic Change in China Looking to the Future Holding Firm While Bending with the Wind Part 3 - Focus on Institutions: School and Family 6. Convergence and Divergence in Educational Systems The Dimensions of Educational Change Conclusions 7. Modernization and Family Patterns Convergence and the Family Demographic Indicators Family Structures Family Dynamics Convergent and Divergent ForcesConclusion Part 4 - Focus on Process 8. Social Stratification: National Comparisons of Occupational Prestige The Comparability of Research Designs The Comparability of Occupational Prestige Hierarchies Summary and Conclusions 9. Communication: Linking the Whole Human Race The Great Transformation The Content of Worldwide Communication Overcoming the Translation Barrier and Communicating Without Words Summary and Conclusion 10. A Century of Due Process Guarantees Worldwide What Is Procedural Due Process and Why Is It Important? Why Study Constitutions? Theoretical Orientations and Hypotheses Study Design and Sampling Analysis of the Data Conclusion Appendix.
Article
By examining Hong Kong immigrants in Canada this study investigates how people change their consumption as they move across cultural boundaries. Anglo-Canadians, new Hong Kong immigrnats (less than seven years), long-time Hong Kong immigrants and Hong Kong residents were surveyed about their product ownership and participation in a set of value-related activities. It was found that nwe immigrants downwardly adjust their consumption habits by prioritizing and acquiring products essential for their life in Canada. After living in Canada for more than seven years, the long-time immigrnats matched the Anglo-Canadians in their family income and owned a comparable set of products. For the value-related activities, the findings suggested that value-free activities were immediately adopted, while those that may generate value conflicts were the least adopted even for long-time immigrants. The study confirmed the importance of environmental influences and cultural relevancy in how immigrants acculturate to Canada.
Article
The influence of previous structre on the transformative capacities of modernizing societies is analyzed for China, Japan, India, and Islamic societies. The internal transformation of these great Asian societies has been greatly facilitated by autonomy of social, cultural and political institutions. Cultural autonomy has made possible the development of symbols supporting and legitimizing the new central institutions, while autonomy in the sphere of social organization has facilitated the crystallization of viable new organizational nucleii without disrupting the pre-existing order. The relatively strong internal cohesion of family groups and broader social strata, with some status autonomy and openness toward the center, has helped to develop willingness to provide the necessary support for the new centers. Where such autonomy is absent, and the social, cultural and political orders are closely identified with one another, development of viable modern structures has been greatly impeded. And where the family and other groups are closed, they are likely to undermine the new institutional centers by making excessive demands on them or by withholding resources. The relative importance of structural differentiation and cultural innovation in the transformation of European societies is also analyzed, through reexamination of Weber's thesis.