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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Young Consumers, Volume 16, Issue 1
Welcome to this the first issue of Volume 16 of Young Consumers. It is perhaps indicative of the changes that have spread over the different fields of research that Young Consumers covers that there are two papers in this issue that deal with the new media, so let us look at these first.
Terhi Tuukkanen and her colleague Terhi-Anna Wilska from the University of Jyväskylä in Finland wanted to explore the perceived opportunities and risks inherent in 11-13-year-olds “going online”. Perceived by whom? Parents and teachers are usually vocal on that issue, but the originality and power of this study is that the children themselves as the consumers of online media also have an important voice. Using interviews from all three sources, Tuukkanen and Wilska are able to identify points of similarity and divergence here and consequently make an important contribution to this expanding field.
Social networks are part of the online communities that characterise young adults in the twenty-first century with Facebook being a ubiquitous platform where media consumers are seen and heard. But LinkedIn is a professional network which is now being adopted by students keen on developing these links. Using a uses and gratifications framework which has already been used to analyse other social network usage Bela Florenthal from William Paterson University in New Jersey, USA, provides such an analysis, thus closing a gap in the available literature.
Food consumption by children is an area that has intrigued us for many years, and you will enjoy a contribution by Siril Alm and Svein Ottar Olsen from Tromsø in Norway. They were interested in sea-food socialisation amongst kindergarten children in that country. Using an intervention to encourage sea-food use and a qualitative methodology they found that these young children tended to describe sea-food as more healthy with a stronger socialisation effect from parents than teachers. They make some useful suggestions which will interest practitioners and researchers who want to guide children towards a more healthy diet, including the suggestion that teachers should be encouraged to eat food with the children so as to be a positive role model. Although the authors are cautious about generalising beyond this sample in Norway, there is a need in my opinion to create a compendium of cross-cultural studies with the various techniques and success rates of different interventions to promote healthy eating worldwide.
Credit card use by young consumers and their adoption is well-known, but less is known about how college students’ attitudes towards credit compares with those who have more experience in the professional workforce. Steve D’Alessandro from Charles Sturt University in New South Wales, Australia, together with his colleague Jakob Cakarnis of the Macquarie Bank in an interesting and valuable piece of research goes some way towards establishing that trajectory. Using a quantitative procedure, these researchers investigated the relationships between financial product use and impulse purchasing, materialism and both subjective and objective consumer knowledge – the interrelationships are discussed in the context of the literature on the subject.
Malene Gram from Aalborg University and her colleagues in the UK and Aalborg have given us a powerful and elegant paper that focusses on a more common experience nowadays – leaving home to go to university by young adults and how this example of a (partially) empty nest is articulated by those young adults who are leaving. Their voices are heard in a qualitative study by this team and the themes that emerge with redefined relational structures provide readers with insights that are often lacking in the more quantitative research papers on this subject.
Shopping for second-hand goods immediately conjures up a picture of at best frugality and at worst, poverty though perhaps not of the abject kind. And yet, identity issues are involved here, as demonstrated by Yan Ruoh-Nan from Colorado State University and her colleagues Bae Su Yun from Ohio State University and Xu Huimin from The Sage Colleges in Albany, NY. The authors explore the possible variables in a quantitative design, and it is to be hoped that this thoughtful and original paper will stimulate future research in this attractive market for young consumers.
Finally, we have our regular paper looking at regulatory aspects of advertising to children on a country-by-country basis. This quarter, we look at Brazil with a paper by João Carlos Arieira Harres and colleagues at Veirano Advogados in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There is a useful coverage of recent legislation including the controversial Resolution 163. As usual, these are coordinated by GALA, the Global Advertising Lawyer’s Alliance, and I am grateful to Stacy Bess from their New York office for all the help and assistance she provides with each issue.
I hope you enjoy each and every one of them. Finally, many thanks to all our reviewers and contributors without whom these regular issues would not be possible.
Brian Young - Editor