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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Welcome to the first issue of volume 17 of Young Consumers. Our multicultural mix of authors come from Israel, Malaysia, Hong Kong, England, Brazil, USA and Norway, and they range from qualitative investigations with Japanese children on their play to how teens in Malaysia decide to adopt mobile banking with smartphones/tablets.
I’ve chosen as the lead article a paper by Ruth Segev and Aviv Shoham from Jerusalem College of Technology University and University of Haifa, respectively. They examine joint gift-giving in adolescents where the social identities of participants are foregrounded. Gift-giving is a social ritual which has a long and distinguished provenance in research in both social anthropology and psychology, and there is an obvious consumption angle as well, so we are looking for a novel and original take on this question. We are not disappointed, and I hope you enjoyed this piece as much as I did.
Jasmine Lau from UPM and Evon Tan from UCSI provide a Malaysian perspective on the decisions of youth of the twenty-first century to adopt mobile banking. For this group, often known as Millennials, instant access, 24/7 is demanded from services and banking with its old traditions of counters and one-to-one transactions with front-line staff is no exception. These authors give us an insight into the process in their country and also provide a valuable theoretical analysis as well.
Kara Chan and her colleagues at Hong Kong Baptist University is a frequent contributor to Young Consumers, and in this issue, she provides us with some insights into Chinese adolescents’ perceptions of healthy and unhealthy foods. We still know little about young consumers in China and their changing food habits, and as is well known, Chinese society has an ancient and complex heritage of food consumption patterns that is being impacted by the twenty-first century global food industry. Chan’s exploratory research makes a valuable contribution to our knowledge of this vast country.
Another exploratory study by Miguel Moital and Kirsten Scully at Bournemouth University in the UK looks at reasons why students go to events and festivals. A major part of the fun of festivals for youth is the collective consumption experience. Using an in-depth analysis of their discussions with participants, the authors provide us with some interesting examples of strategies of both persuasion and resistance.
Fernando Oliveira de Santini from UNISINOS in Brazil and his colleagues surveyed over 400 9-10-year-olds who had used “freemium” games on their smartphones. Although these games can be downloaded free of charge, there are additional “improvements” that can be purchased as well as ads being available on site. There is a literature on this, and the authors have made an important contribution by locating the research in a sophisticated conceptual framework. The sheer variety of research that can be done on children’s consumption of smartphone media and marketing makes this a vital area of research in the future.
Gregory Black and his colleagues from the Metropolitan State University of Denver in Colorado were interested in sustainable and non-sustainable consumer behaviour in young adults. Sustainable consumer behaviour has moral overtones certainly as well as a broad set of concerns concerning one’s role in the world, and this is usually recognised in the literature. However, these authors make the subtle distinction between religiosity and spirituality and set out a model which they test with multivariate analysis.
Finally, we have a delightful paper by Mayumi Takahashi from the Norwegian Centre for Child Research in Trondheim, Norway, who examined the context of pretend play and how identities are mutually negotiated by pre-schoolers in Japan. Pretend play in young children is liberating, and the “ability to suspend disbelief” according to Samuel Taylor Coleridge is the basis of all our drama and playacting as adults. Here, we have refreshing insights into this secret world of childhood, as they collaboratively transform objects, ideas, places and people with their consumer knowledge and experience.
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.