The Commodification of Culture: an Analysis of the Samoan Handicrafts Market

At a crossroads of tradition and modernity, Samoa provides a unique model for the study of authenticity in handicraft consumption. Prior to the introduction of commercialization, Samoan artisans produced handicrafts for communal utilitarian use. An evolving social and market system has since forced these crafts to undergo significant modification. Through ethnographic and qualitative research, vendor and consumer perceptions of authenticity and involvement in the conceptualization of Samoan handicraft products are gauged. Analysis advances previously established frameworks for perceived authenticity by addressing the incorporation of innovative materials into traditional Samoan handicrafts and the reclamation of “tourist products” for “authentic” use by Samoans.


Jessica Lucas (2009) ,"The Commodification of Culture: an Analysis of the Samoan Handicrafts Market", in AP - Asia-Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 8, eds. Sridhar Samu, Rajiv Vaidyanathan, and Dipankar Chakravarti, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 352-353.


Jessica Lucas, Austin College, USA


AP - Asia-Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 8 | 2009

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