Transnational Market Navigation: Living and Consuming across Borders

Zahra Sharifonnasabi*, Laetitia Mimoun, Fleura Bardhi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Prior research has investigated global mobility through the lenses of consumer acculturation, identity, and possessions with a focus on consumers’ socialization and identity management in the host consumer culture. It has neglected, however, the ways that globally mobile consumers simultaneously navigate the multiple, cross-border markets in which they are embedded. We adopt the social network perspective to investigate the transnational consumer lifestyles of people who live and consume simultaneously in two or more countries and sustain multiple relationships of a diverse nature (e.g., market, social, financial, professional) across borders. Through a qualitative study, we dimensionalize the transnational social space inhabited by transnational consumers and demonstrate how it shapes their consumption. We introduce the concept of transnational market navigation, defined as the process of strategically and pragmatically selecting and leveraging social networks to engage simultaneously with multiple cross-border markets. We identify three transnational market navigation strategies: clustering consumption, embracing commercial lock-ins, and developing cluster-based competency. By mobilizing a network perspective to examine consumption in global mobility, we show that globally mobile consumers are also motivated by ways of being (the actual social and commercial relationships and consumption practices with which consumers engage), in addition to the identities associated with their consumption.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberucad049
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1198-1220
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024

Bibliographical note

Published online: 21 July 2023.


  • Transnational market navigation
  • Transnationalism
  • Consumer mobility
  • Social networks
  • Global consumer behavior

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