Commodifying Ethnicity : On Marketing Strategies in Immigrant Cultural Economies in Vienna

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-279
Journal / PublicationJournal of Intercultural Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


This paper examines the role of ethnicity and the formation of various expressions of it in the immigrant cultural economy based on the conceptual frameworks of cultural toolkit and mixed embeddedness. Drawing on empirical data obtained from three immigrant communities in Vienna (Turkish, Chinese and South Asian), this paper proposes a four-field typology, suggesting that multiple meanings related to immigrant integration have been actively invested by social actors to justify their marketing strategies, in the process of which ethnicity is formed and expressed. We therefore argue that ethnicity in the cultural market does not exist as a fixed and independent givenness; its multiple manifestations are rather produced in a process of interplay among collective cultural toolkits, individual resources as well as structural circumstances, in which room for negotiation and adaptation is allowed. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Research Area(s)

  • Cultural Toolkit, Ethnicity, Immigrant Entrepreneurship, Integration, Mixed Embeddedness, Vienna

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