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Race, Marketing, & Markets / Publication Abstract

Shopping While Nonwhite: Racial Discrimination among Minority Consumers

Jul 1, 2015

Aronte Marie Bennett, Ronald Paul Hill, Kara Daddario

Race, Marketing, & Markets
Consumer Well-Being


“Shopping While Black” refers to negative experiences that African American consumers endure in the marketplace. The term was coined before the turn of the century and the tabulation of the 2000 census. However, this term may be antiquated—not because African Americans no longer have disparate consumer experiences, but because these experiences impact all American minorities. This study examines the prevalence of racially motivated discriminatory experiences across consumer contexts. Specifically, it offers an empirical look at ways that racial minorities believe they are treated in a variety of consumption environments. Results show that minority groups experience similar levels of perceived discrimination: Asian Americans and Hispanic Americans are as frequently victims of marketplace discrimination as are African Americans. Interestingly, these shared experiences do not necessarily translate into similar beliefs in the continued existence of discrimination as a derogatory force for American minority consumers.

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