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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Young Consumers, Volume 9, Issue 2.
There are a couple of announcements before I describe the papers that have been chosen for this second issue of 2008. First, we have been listed by PsycINFO as a journal that they will abstract. PsycINFO is the American Psychological Association’s (APA) database and the implications are that articles published in Young Consumers will become a member of this world of research and scholarship where they are read, cited, and used by students and researchers worldwide - at the touch of a button. It is a significant milestone in our journal’s progress.
We are also pleased to announce our first (and hopefully first of many) special issue. Charlie Wang, a member of our Editorial Advisory Board, has already issued a call for papers for an issue on “The Chinese little emperors: marketing to Chinese young consumers”. If you are interested in contributing then Professor Cheng Lu Wang is at email@example.com
The lead paper this issue is by Anna Saraneva and Maria Sääksjärvi. Anna and Maria look at shopping and consumption and they are involved in what might be termed the emotional detail or fine-grain of the experience in those whose consumption is dysfunctional to the extent they were classified by a standard screening instrument as compulsive shoppers. Using an imaginative method involving digital ethnography (calling respondents on their cell phones to give immediate reports on their subjective experiences) they provide compelling evidence that there is a variety of emotional experience surrounding “shopping” that is higher, lower, and different than that experienced by consumers who are not classified as compulsive. This piece of work is worthy of a lead article in my opinion.
Linda Molenmaker and her colleagues’ fascinating paper introduces us to the concept of the child as innovator - an empowering and key image of the creative child. Using a sample of 8-12-year-olds in The Netherlands they identify “lead users” in social groups in social networks and their position in groups. This paper will be essential reading for those who are interested in opinion formation and product innovation in young consumers. Much research is still to be done in this area of course, with different types of goods and services as well as other age bands to be explored.
Music is a ubiquitous part of teenage life. Not only is it present most of the time in a young person’s life but it functions in various ways ranging from articulating social identity needs to providing scripts for understanding the highs and lows of growing up. Pete Nuttall’s highly readable paper takes us on a journey through the world of teens in England using an imaginative methodology where young people interview their friends. The various functionalities of music with this group provide insight for marketers in terms of segmentation strategies.
Monica Hernandez is interested in “advergames” which are electronic games that carry advertising. She looked at three antecedents of gaming behaviour and gave us empirical evidence that entertainment and sociability have a positive effect on attitudes in the context of “advergaming”, whereas escape has a negative effect. The Mexican children provided a sample that demonstrates a possible cross-cultural difference: although fun and friends have a role to play in influencing attitudes, a belief that online games allow the player to escape into an alternative reality might not apply to Latin American children.
Donna Winham and Jeffrey Hampl report on a survey of adolescents carried out in Arizona looking at high school students and their own perceptions of media influence on their behaviour, including food consumption. The results of this survey suggest that these young people do not indiscriminately model behaviours depicted by television programs, but may selectively incorporate some views that fit with their reality. For example, contrary to some reported research no association with increased television watching and BMI percentile (of participant) was observed although this finding is limited to self-report data.
Muratore’s paper is an interesting portrait of French bloggers. Blogging is an international means of communication using the web and the author sees the uniformity of blogs as characteristic of socialisation by peers using this medium. The research uses both quantitative and qualitative methods and provides us with a valuable insight into the ways young consumers use this platform.
Finally there are two regular features that we welcome every quarter. Martin Lindstrom provides his unique insights from a wealth of experience accompanied with a solid reputation. In this issue he looks at online gaming and branding. And last, our regular well-received survey of advertising legislation affecting children across the nations of the world takes in New Zealand this time.
These papers sample a wide range of international researchers in the field. Seven different countries are represented here. The papers are different, sometimes conceptually strenuous and often provocative. But they do demonstrate that in the field of consumption practices of children and young people there is a wealth of good research and emerging talent out there. Good reading!
Dr Brian YoungEditor