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‘‘You can’t buy friends, but . . . ’’ children’s perception of consumption and friendship
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
2013 (English)In: Young Consumers, ISSN 1747-3616, Vol. 14, no 4, 360-374 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]


– This article aims to explore, and compare, the perceived association between economic

resources and peer relationships among two age groups of Swedish tweens.


– The data consist of 101 drawings by Swedish tweens, aged nine,

and aged 12. The children were asked if and how children can attract friends through the use

of money.


– Most children did perceive economic resources as a means to attract friends. However, both the kind of items that were found in the drawings, and the children’s perceptions of how

to use the items, were relatively different between children aged nine and children aged 12.

Research limitations/implications

– Because of the small sample size, it is not possible to generalize

results obtained in the current study to a population of children in general.

Practical implications

– If children believe that they can use material goods to become more popular

and accepted, they may be highly vulnerable to the internalisation of materialistic values. In

order to more deeply understand the meaning of consumption in children’s peer

relationships, there is a need to gain more knowledge of the extent to which children

themselves perceive money as a means of attracting friends.


– Previous research indicates that material possessions are important for children in

order to gain popularity among peers. However, few studies have tried to investigate if and

how children perceive economic resources as a means to attract friends, in different age



children, Consumption, Economic resources, Friendship, Peers, Tweens

Paper type

Research paper

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2013. Vol. 14, no 4, 360-374 p.
Keyword [en]
children, tweens, consumption, relationsships, peers, money
Keyword [sv]
barn, konsumtion, vänner, pengar, handla, shoppa
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Sciences, Social Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-30733DOI: 10.1108/YC-03-2013-00347OAI: diva2:667348
Available from: 2013-11-26 Created: 2013-11-26 Last updated: 2014-05-13Bibliographically approved

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Lundby, Erika
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