This cross-cultural study illustrates how products selected for their basic similarities are distinguished in use by cultural context. Jeans, a product manufactured in both South Korea and the United States, were selected as the research stimuli. Subjects were regular wearers of jeans, 32 of whom were from the United States and 34 from Korea. All were females between the ages of 18 and 24, and students at one of two large metropolitan universities in their respective countries. Participants responded to four brands of jeans similar in appearance: two were U.S. brands (Levi's and Gap) and two were Korean brands (GV2 and Bang Bang). Subjects' perceptions of the products were explored for similarities and differences in criteria for wear and purchase of jeans. Country of manufacture mattered less than country of origin, appearance and other factors related to use in a cultural context. For both groups, color, fit, tactile qualities and price also were important criteria in wearing and purchasing jeans. Though respondents used similar criteria in this cross-cultural comparison, differences in weighting of those criteria yielded significantly different results.
- South Korea
- United States