Study of New Generation of Migrant Workers Conspicuous Consumption Behavior Based on Social Identity Perspective
|Keywords||New Generation of Migrant Workers Conspicuous Consumption Behavior Social Identity Personal Values Reference Group Influence|
January 2010, the State Council issuing Central Document No.1“Increase thelevel of urban and rural development to further consolidate the basis of agriculturaland rural development”is the first use of the formulation of the new generation ofmigrant workers. The new generation of migrant workers is a new force in the groupof migrant workers, according to the data in the“research report of China Federationof Trade Unions on the new generation of migrant workers”, at the present stage thenew generation of migrant workers accounted for 61.6% of the overall migrantworkers, about 100 million people.The new generation of migrant workers is growing up in the background of thereform and opening, their growth environment compared with the older generation ofmigrant workers has undergone tremendous changes, which is obviously differentfrom the brand of the times of the older generation of migrant workers. The purposeof going out of the new generation of migrant workers is from Survival to theDevelopment. The older generation of migrant workers migrant main purpose is tomake money to supplement the family income, new generation of migrant workerswill be migrate as a way to seek development, change destiny and realize theirdreams. They not only focus on the level of wages, but also focus on benefits, workenvironment and the future prospects for the development. The rapid development ofmass media and communication technologies to enable them to more rapid by theinfluence of modern civilization, the formation of diverse values and open the newthinking, enabling them to become a recipient and disseminator of the urban lifestyle.It easier for them to accept new things, they are more vulnerable to the impact of the consumption of urban peers’demonstration. They desire to communicate theiridentity to city life to win the acceptance of urban residents through symbolicconsumption of external goods and services.“Conspicuous consumption behavior”became new ways to narrow the distance with urban residents of the new generationof migrant workers.Conspicuous consumption behavior of the new generation of migrant workershas gradually attracted the attention of scholars, but most scholars are researching thisproblem from a sociological perspective. Conspicuous consumption behavior of thenew generation of migrant workers in China’s research from a marketing perspectiveis still rare, Therefore, this paper will draw on the research results at home and abroad,focus on the phenomenon of conspicuous consumption behavior of the newgeneration of migrant workers, will be depth analysis on the personal values,reference group influence and social identity for the role of conspicuous consumptionbehavior, for improving the situation of the new generation of migrant workers,speeding up the pace of the new generation of migrant workers“urbanization”, makeappropriate conclusions and useful policy recommendations.First of all, from traditional values and modern values, we explore the effect ofpersonal values on the conspicuous consumption behavior of the new generation ofmigrant workers. The values of the individual consumer behavior have a veryimportant effect. Wang Xinxin and Chen Runqi (2010) pointed out that the impact ofvalues on consumer behavior is an endogenous, fundamental impact on theconsumers, there is a huge consumer-oriented role, and it’s also the ultimatedeterminants of consumer behavior. Therefore, in the analysis of conspicuousconsumption behavior of the new generation of migrant workers, the values held bythe new generation of migrant workers are the decisive factor can not be ignored.Chinese traditional values have had a far-reaching impact on Chinese people’s valuesand code of conduct since ancient times. Based on obedience with others, and thepursuit of social harmony, Confucianism emphasizes the concept of“humblethemselves and respect the others”, Stresses abide by duty, non-confrontational“Humility”concept. From restraint to themselves, in the consumer’s perspective, the most significant and affecting a wide range values were undoubtedly the concept of“Thrifty”. At the same time, China’s economic and social developed continuous,people’s living standard has also undergone rapid changes, the material level andopening up also has a deeper level, and it’s provided an opportunity for thedevelopment and changes of people’s values. Materialism and self-realization ofsocial values have important implications for the individual consumer behavior. As aresult, we study of the new generation of migrant workers conspicuous consumerbehavior from traditional values and modern values, first.Secondly, we study the effect of reference group influence on conspicuousconsumption behavior of the new generation of migrant workers. Consumer behavioris impacted by the intrinsic value judgments and choices of individuals on the onehand, and also by social factors on the other hand. The reference group is one of thefactors that impact on consumers. Reference group has a more significant correlationwith personal desire and behavior. Reference group not only provide consumers withthe main source of product information, but also standards of behavior in order toobtain the appreciation or to avoid punishment. Consumers are more willing to acceptfrom the desire to groups during consumption of conspicuous goods. Usuallyreference group influence can be divided into three dimensions, the informationalinfluence, utilitarian influence and value expressive influence. Reference groupinfluence is the second starting point to study the generation of migrant workersconspicuous consumption behavior.Third, we studied the regulatory role of social identity. Social identity is theindividual’s perception of himself as belonging to certain social groups to bring theirown emotional and value significance, can strongly affect our perceptions, attitudesand behavior. Social identity is through a specific act or symbol to express andcommunicate. In this process, the consumption is the tools to show identity, as well associal communication. In this sense, conspicuous consumption behavior and socialidentity closely linked. For this special group of the new generation of migrantworkers, their social identity of rural areas and farmers has gradually shaken andblurred, or changed to a certain extent. Some of the new generation of migrant workers is reluctant to admit the identity of farmer, producing psychologicalalienation, deprivation and inferiority complex. And most of the new generation ofmigrant workers produces a strong sense of identity of the city. In this process ofchange, regardless the role of personal values or reference group influence ofconspicuous consumption behavior of the new generation of migrant workers will besubject to the strong impact of social identity factors. This paper has explored theregulatory role played by the social identity in the conspicuous consumption behaviorof the new generation of migrant workers.This article has combed and reviewed the literature, and eventually formed thequestionnaire for this study, through depth interviews with some of the newgeneration of migrant workers and the small sample of pre-test. Large-scalequestionnaire survey was carry out of the new generation of migrant workers invarious industries of the city of Harbin, Changchun, Dalian, Beijing, Tianjin,Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Xiamen City. We use basic descriptivestatistical analysis, the reliability and validity, factor analysis and multi-levelregression analysis and other methods of analysis and testing of data collected, toverify the theoretical framework of this study and research assumptions.The empirical research found that, first, personal values can affect theconspicuous consumption of the new generation of migrant workers. In depthinterviews and questionnaires, we found that many of the new generation of migrantworkers still adhere to the non-confrontational“Humility”and“Thrifty”values,“Humility”and“Thrift”values respected the concept of self-discipline and restraintis bound to inhibit conspicuous consumption. The new generation of migrant workerswho has“Materialism”and“self-realization”values, make possession of material as asymbol of a better life and pursuit of life goals. The new generation of migrantworkers in the role of these modern values, advocating conspicuous consumption.Second, the reference group influence can affect the generation of migrantworkers conspicuous consumption behavior. Conspicuous consumption behavior hasa“trickle down”mode, through the demonstration effect, the lower social groups toimitate the upper social groups’consumer behavior, and the reference group influence is bound to have a significant role in promoting conspicuous consumption behavior.This study found that the reference group to provide consumers with productinformation available to show off, as the most important reference group in the newgeneration of migrant workers, urban residents has become an important source ofinformation of consumer behavior. Meanwhile, the new generation of migrantworkers in order to cater to the urban population groups, and will be forced to complywith some of the consumption norms and standards of city residents. The newgeneration of migrant workers will be modeled on the urban residents of certainconsumer behavior to express themselves and achieve self-improvement, making itcloser to the ideal self. Namely informational influence, utilitarian influence andvalue expressive influence on the conspicuous consumption of the new generation ofmigrant workers have a role in promoting.Third, the social identity has part of the regulatory role of personal values andreference group influence on conspicuous consumption. Through depth interviewsand questionnaires, we found that most of the new generation of migrant workers hasexclusion or evasive attitude as farmers, and the vast majority of respondents do notaccept the title of“migrant workers”. Exclusion and apathy of the urban residents, aswell as long-term institutional discrimination in movement, residence, work and study,makes a lot of the new generation of farmers have very low social identity. Even if itis held by the values of“Humility”and“Thrift”, the new generation of migrantworkers who are lacking of social identity, will enhance the image and get respectedthrough conspicuous consumption.“Materialism”and“self-realization”values of thenew generation of migrant workers, will be considered conspicuous consumption as away to get the pleasures of life, so whether a higher or lower social identity, The newgeneration of migrant workers who hold the values of materialism and self-realizationwill do conspicuous consumption. Urban residents as the reference group of the newgeneration of migrant workers had a major impact on the conspicuous consumption ofthe new generation of migrant workers. For the new generation of migrant workerswith low social identity, reference group is an important channel of accessinformation of goods and services, and their conspicuous consumption behavior in more cases is in order to obtain respect and acceptance. In the low social identitycondition, informational influence and utilitarian influence of the conspicuousconsumption of the new generation of migrant workers is more pronounced, andsocial identity did not play a significant role in the process of value expressioninfluence promoting conspicuous consumption.This paper from traditional and modern values, from the personal values andreference group influence, from inside and outside to study the generation of migrantworkers conspicuous consumption behavior, and can more clearly identify anddetermine the reality of mechanism of personal values and reference group influence,enrich the research ideas of conspicuous consumption behavior to a certain extent,provide a useful complement to the conspicuous consumer behavior research in thefield. At the same time, this paper has insight into the behavior characteristics of theconspicuous consumption of the new generation of migrant workers; study the maininfluencing factors, which provide reference for enterprises to develop more effectivemarketing strategy. In addition, this study reveals the real living condition andsituation reflected the new generation of migrant workers, through the appearance ofconspicuous consumption behavior, take the analysis of the problems encountered inthe urbanization process of the new generation of migrant workers, and tap the root ofthese problems and to propose corresponding countermeasures. This is not onlyconducive to the“urbanization”of the new generation of migrant workers, but alsohas a practical significance to building a harmonious socialist society in China.