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Abraham Oshotse - Emory University, Goizueta Business School. ATLANTA, GA, US

Abraham Oshotse

Assistant Professor of Organization & Management | Emory University, Goizueta Business School




Abraham Oshotse joined Goizueta Business School in 2023 after completing his Ph.D. in Macro Organizational Behavior at Stanford's Graduate School of Business. Abraham's research interests pertain to cultural phenomenon in social and market contexts, as well as career attainment within organizations. Methodologically, his work spans various techniques from computational linguistics to experimental approaches to traditional econometric methods.

Education (1)

Stanford Graduate School of Business: PhD, Macro-Organizational Behavior

Publications (1)

Cultural Tariffing: Appropriation and the Right to Cross Cultural Boundaries

American Sociological Review

Oshotse, Abraham; Berda, Yael; & Goldberg, Amir


Why are some acts of cultural boundary-crossing considered permissible whereas others are repudiated as cultural appropriation? We argue that perceptions of cultural appropriation formed in response to the emergence of cultural omnivorousness as a dominant form of high-status consumption, making boundary-crossing a source of cultural capital. Consequently, the right to adopt a practice from a culture that is not one’s own is determined on the basis of the costs and benefits one is presumed to accrue. People express disapproval at boundary-crossing if they believe it devalues or extracts value at the expense of the target culture. We call this process cultural tariffing. We test our theory in a between-subject experimental design, demonstrating that individuals who enjoy a privileged social position, as inferred from their social identity or socioeconomic status, have less normative latitude to cross cultural boundaries. This is explained by perceptions that these actors are either devaluing or exploiting the target culture. While symbolic boundaries and cultural distinction theories are inconsistent with our results, we find that Americans who are disenchanted about group-based social mobility are the most likely to be outraged by cultural boundary-crossing. Cultural tariffing, we therefore posit, is a form of symbolic redistribution.

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Working Papers/Projects (1)

Stylistic Differentiation in Cultural Markets: The Benefits of Conspicuous Category Spanning

In this study of nearly 6,000 films, I engage with two influential perspectives in cultural markets research: the theory of optimal product differentiation, and the theory of boundary-spanning risks. These theories have conventionally been viewed in isolation. Here, however, I build upon them and introduce an empirical approach to situating product features in relation to market categories. I propose that boundary-spanning differentiation holds the most appeal to audiences when it conspicuously incorporates elements from the spanned category, as opposed to incorporating elements that do not clearly connote an alternative, non-target category. My analysis of over 60,000 narrative features from the film sample provides robust empirical support for this proposition. I further find that the benefit of such differentiation is contingent on the popularity of the categories being invoked, but is independent of the time-invariant quality of the borrowed elements. This paper, thus, brings a unique lens to understand the intricate dynamics of stylistic differentiation in cultural markets.

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