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Transnational Market Navigation: Living and Consuming across Borders

Sharifonnasabi, Z., Mimoun, L. ORCID: 0000-0002-5173-312X & Bardhi, F. (2023). Transnational Market Navigation: Living and Consuming across Borders. Journal of Consumer Research, 50(6), pp. 1198-1220. doi: 10.1093/jcr/ucad049


Prior research has investigated global mobility through the lenses of consumer acculturation, identity, and possessions with a focus on consumers’ socialization and identity management in the host consumer culture. It has neglected, however, the ways that globally mobile consumers simultaneously navigate the multiple, cross-border markets in which they are embedded. We adopt the social network perspective to investigate the transnational consumer lifestyles of people who live and consume simultaneously in two or more countries and sustain multiple relationships of a diverse nature (e.g., market, social, financial, professional) across borders. Through a qualitative study, we dimensionalize the transnational social space inhabited by transnational consumers and demonstrate how it shapes their consumption. We introduce the concept of transnational market navigation, defined as the process of strategically and pragmatically selecting and leveraging social networks to engage simultaneously with multiple cross-border markets. We identify three transnational market navigation strategies: clustering consumption, embracing commercial lock-ins, and developing cluster-based competency. By mobilizing a network perspective to examine consumption in global mobility, we show that globally mobile consumers are also motivated by ways of being (the actual social and commercial relationships and consumption practices with which consumers engage), in addition to the identities associated with their consumption.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Journal of Consumer Research, Inc. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher Keywords: transnational market navigation, transnationalism, consumer mobility, social networks, global consumer behavior
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
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