Master of Arts (MA)
Journalism and Media Studies
First Committee Member
Paul J. Traudt
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Fourth Committee Member
Number of Pages
Postmodern society is marked by a condition where traditional identity markers have degenerated in value. Without the spatial or temporal connection provided by traditional identity markers, individuals look to brands perceived to be authentic to aide in identity construction. Paradoxically, individualized identities need the interpretive support of other likeminded individuals in specialized communities to give legitimacy to constructed identities. These specialized communities often focus around a lifestyle or a brand. This research employed interpretive qualitative methodology to understand authenticity. Semistructured depth interviews were conducted with members of the Brit Iron Rebels Las Vegas Clan to understand the authenticity of Triumph Motorcycles within the context of their specialized community. Results of study found that the indexical connection provided by ownership of Triumph Motorcycles and participation in specialized communities provides traditional identity markers lacking in postmodern society. In practice, analysis of data revealed that a genuine interest on the part of brand managers who participate in specialized motorcycle communities must trump commercial intentions.
Authenticity (Philosophy); Brand Authenticity; Brand Communities; Branding (Marketing); Identity (Psychology); Individualization; Lifestyles; Postmodern Consumer Culture; Specialized Communities
Communication | Family, Life Course, and Society | Marketing
Charles, Sullivan, "Understanding brand authenticity in specialized communities: An interpretive qualitative study of the Brit Iron Rebels Las Vegas Clan" (2014). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 2249.