Academic journal article Competition Forum

The Impact of Internet Marketing on Urban Tribes in Guadalajara

Academic journal article Competition Forum

The Impact of Internet Marketing on Urban Tribes in Guadalajara

Article excerpt


The idea of this work was to determine how much the Internet is influencing urban tribes in Guadalajara, México. Usually urban tribes develop their own esthetical codes related to what to wear and how to look, but as many brands, together with marketing, have been developing concepts of fashion, many urban tribes are now under the influence of the media. This paper explores how the Internet is also working on the development of esthetics and brand construction in urban tribes. A sample of 533 people was obtained and ANOVA was performed in order to obtain clues about the main objectives.

Keywords: Subculture, Internet marketing, Urban tribes.


The concept of subculture is used to define a distinct social group from, but related to, a dominate culture. Its primary focus is to describe groups that present different patterns of behavior and values from the "norm" (Blackman, 2005). Nevertheless, this theory does not remain universally accepted due to the lack of subsequent investigations, including the collection of more opinions and concepts such as those of countercultures, urban tribes, or youth cultures.

The first of these concepts, counterculture, stems from the hippy movement of the 60s. Bennet (2001) proposes that this term sheds light on the disillusionment of youths in this epoch regarding the control of the parental culture and the lack of interest in conforming to society. The term does not only go against parental culture, but it is also a feasible way of attacking the institutional pillars of the system, such as the family, the school, the media, and matrimony.

Youth culture, according to Carlos Feixa (1998), "Is the construction of distinctive life styles, fundamentally localized in the free time or in interstitial spaces of the institutional life, with significant degrees of autonomy regarding the adult institutions" (Feixa, 1998).

Perhaps the most widespread or familiar term is urban tribes, which has two meanings in literature: Michel Maffesoli (2004) in his book, The Time of the Tribes, mentions the existence of new youth groups that are nomadic and also form a part of tribalism. He affirms, similarly, that the youth groups enjoy the union of corporality and vitality. They seem to be a transient group and have a hunger for visibility.

On the other hand, there is the Spanish theory by Pere-Oroil et al. (1996) who see urban tribes as "gangs, bands or simply groups of youths and adolescents that dress similar and gaudy, they follow common habits and are evident, but above all, in large cities" (Pere-Oriol Costa, 1996). Carlos Feixa (2004) explains that the conformations of youthful demonstrations are products of western impoverishment, educational democratization, and an extension of leisure time, thanks to the welfare and the development of mass media.

From this definition, related to the diffusion of mass media, it's possible to assert that its esthetics are more distinctive characteristics, which are presented thanks to the influence of massive media outlets; music and movies being the two key elements that implement the strongest influence on urban tribes. This influence on urban tribes has produced a transculturation of cultural products: the esthetic and musical styles that arise in a purely urban ecosystem are exported and assimilated by individuals of different cities following a common pattern.


One can speak also of consumer tribes as groups of emotionally connected people that share similar values and uses related to consumption and that utilize the "linking of values" of products and services to create a community and express their identity. Therefore, these tribes are an expression of individual and social identity, since they consider the opinions of the other members before being able to make a purchasing decision, and they have an emotional connection and a social reason to commit, being that their purchases are the only way of understanding them (Michell & Imrie, 2011). …

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