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The purpose of this study was to advance our understanding of the influence of subculture on building awareness of a product and ultimately a stronger connection to a product, in particular sports teams. The research questions examined in this study were to understand: 1) how one's Cuban upbringing influenced his/her values, meanings, and beliefs relative to a sport product, sport sports teams, 2) what agents influenced sport socialization for different generation and acculturation levels,3) which were the primary sport socialization agents for Cuban Americans, 4) whether level of acculturation impacts level of attachment toward a particular sport and/or team, and 5) the similarities/differences in interest in sport by generation. Given the nature of the research problem, the methodology employed the qualitative procedures and it was determined that the case study alternative was the most appropriate for this research project. Through the use of 16 in-depth interviews with participants with varying levels of acculturation, an understanding of this particular Cuban subculture emerged. The findings from this study suggest that this subculture has a strong sense of family and that the family plays in important role in not only socialization, but sport socialization. This includes the father/child attachment, retroactive socialization, and the absence of school and coaches as influencing agents. The findings also indicate that there is an attachment to the hometown team, no matter of the record. This attachment prevailed across all ages, gender, and levels of acculturation. Based on the findings, marketers should focus their efforts on understanding the role of the family and the influence on sport consumption along with highlighting the idea of supporting the hometown team when communicating with this subculture.
A Dissertation Submitted to the Department of Sport Management, Recreation Management and Physical Education in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Jeffrey D. James, Professor Directing Dissertation; Felipe Korzenny, Outside Committee Member; R. Aubrey Kent, Committee Member; King Beach, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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