A qualitative enquiry into the adoption, use and appropriation of smartphones by British South Asian young adults

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This resource is the short research proposal of a paper presented at the 2014 Academy of Marketing Conference in Bournemouth, UK. The paper aimed to analyze British South Asian young adults' adoption, use and appropriation of smartphones. The study aimed to use netnographic engagement combined with in-depth interviews for data collection. Twenty respondents from three major cities in the UK – London, Leeds and Birmingham – were to be interviewed and subsequently engaged through social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to find out why they use smartphones, how they use them, what kinds of difficulties they encounter, how they adapt their lifestyles, and whether smartphone use has had any subsequent impacts on their socio-occupational lives. The proposal outlines the purpose, theoretical background, and proposed methodology of the study.

This resource will be of use to researchers planning netnographic studies across minority populations and particularly those interested in smartphone adoption amongst subsets of a given population. The authors highlight that the size of the British South Asian population has increased by 50% in the last decade. Despite their integration with the wider community, it is argued that they maintain distinct cultural identities and practices. As such, their values, lifestyle and information needs, may not be the same as others. Therefore, such a study on their adoption and appropriation of smartphones could contribute to the field of knowledge by eliciting evidence of how technologies such as smartphones can become integrated into the daily lives of users and provide useful guidelines for the future development of products. 

Bidit Dey, Helen Woodruffe-Burton and Ameet Pandit