CitationDownload as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Young Consumers, Volume 11, Issue 4
This is our last issue for 2010 and we have a wide variety of articles looking at different aspects of consumption in children and youth. All of them share one special quality though – they are truly international in outlook and cover a wide spread of cultures and topics. I have chosen as the lead article a piece on adolescent snacking, by Tino Bech-Larsen and her colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark. In my opinion the research reported here achieves a valuable goal which is to challenge conventional assumptions by making them problematic and so open up new frames of understanding. As you are no doubt aware the field of food, children and youth is very popular and this piece of work stands out very clearly as novel and original. Snacking is often seen as unstructured and free of norms (in contrast with the literature on the rituals and structure of meals for example) but as you will see when you read Tino’s paper, it certainly is not. Seeing patterns and structure when others do not is one of the achievements of good social and critical enquiry and there are many examples of this discovery in the literature, such as the work on soccer crowds and street gangs in social psychology and sociology.
Next we have two articles on young people and money. Cesar Maloles from California State University and his colleagues from other universities in the USA and Austria look at the different subgroups of the youth market in the context of their financial interests and usage. In particular they are interested in what determined their choice of banks as well as what factors influenced their satisfaction, loyalty, and behavioral intentions with regard to their banking needs. Lisa Yong and her colleagues are concerned about financial awareness among young students in Malaysia and have surveyed them about this aspect of their financial literacy. Given the sample size we now have valid and reliable scales for general financial awareness and financial product awareness with this age group and further cross-cultural work can be done in this area.
Cognitive dissonance has a long history in psychology although it has fallen a bit out of fashion recently. However Babu George and his colleague at the University of Southern Mississippi look at dissonance reduction in a refreshing way in the context of impulse purchases when students go spring break shopping. They provide an interesting story from their results showing that impulse buying behavior could be a coping strategy used to avoid discomfort associated with the possible disconfirmation of expectations. Still on the topic of shopping, Rina Makgosa from the University of Botswana looks at the role of entertainers and television celebrities in the purchases of teenagers in that country. “Celebrity culture” is becoming an influential source globally on consumption practices in both conventional intended formats such as celebrity endorsement and so-called “unintended” consequences involving role modelling and other forms of emulation. However the power or effect of this source of influence relative to more traditional sources of consumer socialisation such as family, peers, and significant others needs to be established for both marketers and those concerned with social policy. Makgosa’s paper contributes to this cross-cultural perspective.
One of the growth areas of research recently has been the consumption of alcohol by underage drinkers and young people, with the associated social policy issues and social problems associated with it. Dariusz Siemieniako at Bialystok Technical University in Poland and his international colleagues explored college student binge drinking in two cultures; Poland and Canada. They were interested in the role of locality – the places and contexts where students conduct a lot of their social life. This qualitative research provides valuable insights into what are often dysfunctional drinking patterns in young people.
And last in our portfolio of academic papers, but by no means least, is a report on research of family purchase decisions of mobile phones conducted in Malaysia by Amily Fikri and his colleague Norina Jamil. Malaysia is a multi-ethnic nation and this variable of ethnicity and other factors are explored in this large study.
Dan Acuff is a well-known author of books on children and advertising and brings to bear a wealth of experience as a consultant for many international companies. He presents us with a fascinating short piece on character archetypes. Also we have our regular column under the “legal briefing” head. This time it’s on advertising to children and young people in Chile.
I hope you enjoy reading all of these important papers and many thanks to all our reviewers and contributors without whom these regular issues would not be possible.
Dr Brian YoungEditor