CitationDownload as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
We have seven papers for you in this issue and the contributors are from Germany, Egypt, the UK, New Zealand, Denmark, the USA, The Netherlands and Israel. A truly international list of authors, and the topics range from children using simulated consumption sites, playing video games, fashion and young males, adolescents and self-regulation in eating, emotional regulation and consumption in children, materialism and advertising in emerging adults to financial literacy in children. Let us look at them in the order they appear.
I have chosen a paper by Gunnar Mau and his colleagues at the University of Siegen in Germany as the lead paper for this issue. Why? Browsing papers is an important part of my job and I check through TOCs on ELMAR, for example, or use search engines, and it is not difficult to get full-text versions of recent publications on either the tablet or even on a smartphone as we commute to work. It is easy to drown in information these days, and I tell my postgrad students not to read full papers from the beginning to end but to read to some purpose. So if you are looking for methods for your PhD research go for that section, or if you are wanting inspiration for future research look at the Discussion, or if you are starting out just go to the literature review which will give you a good summary of some sub-sub-sub-field. But for this job I have to read from beginning to end, and it is rare to find papers where each and every part inspires. Mau’s paper, however, is one of these where every part fascinates. It is held together by a strong narrative as well, so I hope you will read it with the same pleasure as I experienced. What is it about? Children buying groceries in a simulated environment, with data from more than 400 children who are 8 to 10 years old and the findings are significant and important. Go and read now!
Dina Bassiouni from the American University in Cairo, Egypt, and Chris Hackley from Royal Holloway University of London, UK, looked at identity issues in 6- to 12-year-old children in the UK in the context of video game playing. Putting the “child” in the context of “video games” can evoke strong emotions in many commentators, and the authors, to their credit, have given us a balanced and extensive review of the literature. Using discourse analysis, they give us some illuminating examples of how children use video games as a resource through which they can express, experiment with and negotiate their emerging senses of identity.
Lisa McNeill and Jacob McKay from the University of Otago in New Zealand are interested in shopping by men. Has the “new man” image established itself in New Zealand or do the traditional male stereotypes based on rugby and farming still dominate? The authors provide us with a nuanced treatment of the literature, successfully avoiding some of the more simplified analyses that can be found in some writings on sex differences. Their research uses qualitative analyses of in-depth interviews with young male consumers, and in the authors’ words:
[…] the young men in this study all embraced the acts of shopping for and displaying fashion clothing items, with an interest in fashion not seen as compromising or challenging a masculine self-identity – a movement towards hedonic performance of masculinity.
Liliya Nureeva and her colleagues from Aarhus University in Denmark investigated the ways Danish adolescents used strategies to regulate their eating behaviours. Self-regulation is a particularly important skill for adolescents to master as they navigate through obesogenic environments because many of them are cognitively immature, and their executive control management is still developing and will do so until their early 20s. Using an imaginative methodology based on group-elicited data with quantitative analysis, they have identified 12 emergent strategies that characterise these young consumers.
Matthew Lapierre at the University of Arizona has given us a thoughtful paper on the role of emotional regulation in children’s consumer behaviour. Self-regulation in all aspects of mental action, thinking feeling and intention is part of growing up and we have seen in Nureeva’s paper in this issue that controlling intentions to eat in a food setting is important. Using an empirical methodology, Professor Lapierre demonstrated that children’s ability to control positively valenced emotions did predict consumer behaviour. Specifically, children who had more difficulty suppressing joy/happiness were more likely to ask their parents for consumer goods and were more likely to argue with parents about these purchases. There are also some valuable observations on future developments with particular reference to the role of socialisation of emotional regulation through parents.
Suzanna Opree and Robert Cartwright from the University of Amsterdam have looked at materialism and advertising in emerging adults. One of the claimed effects of advertising to children is its role in cultivating materialism, but in emerging adulthood the picture is more complex as young people are quite capable of processing information about advertising in a mindful way and interpret the materialistic values inherent in much promotional activity. In this thoughtful and considered paper, the authors come to a nuanced conclusion about the role of materialism in relation to advertising in the emerging adult sector.
Tali Te’eni-Harari from the Peres Academic Center – Business School in Israel has examined financial literacy in children. This is a growing area and an essential element of any collection of papers dealing with young consumers. The author is interested in involvement in saving money (ISM), a general engagement with issues to do with money and mediated through socialisation agents such as family and peers. Using one-to-one interviews, data on over 100 six-year-olds were gathered. The questions were taken from the extant literature on ISM. Findings generally supported the power of ISM in predicting saving behaviour, and this paper has made an important contribution to the literature. It is to be hoped that future researchers develop this area further with other cultures and ages and examine antecedents using parental interviews for example.
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.