“If you have money, you can be kinder to them”: Possessions and economic resources in children's peer groups
2012 (English)In: Young Consumers: Insight and Ideas for Responsible Marketers, ISSN 1747-3616, Vol. 13, no 2, 136-146 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the functions of material possessions and economic resources in peer relationships among third grade children.
Design/methodology/approach – In total, 48 Swedish children aged nine were interviewed in focus groups, using a projective vignette technique and pictures. The children were asked if and how children in general could gain new friends through material possessions and money.
Findings – The findings indicate that children perceive possessions as multi-functional tools in peer relationships. The ability to fit into the peer group, by the use of different possessions, was perceived as especially important. Additionally, children perceived money as an altruistic tool to demonstrate kindness.
Research limitations/implications – This is a qualitative study and the results are based solely on ten focus groups.
Practical implications – This study implies that children's ability to fit into the peer group seems to be more important than the need to express individuality. Thus, it may be a challenge for social marketers, teachers, parents, and others to address children's consumption behavior as a factor strongly influenced by the peer group.
Originality/value – Previous research indicated that material possessions were important for children in order to gain popularity among peers. However, few studies have tried to investigate how children perceive the functions of material possessions and economic resources.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2012. Vol. 13, no 2, 136-146 p.
children, consumption, economy, peers, friendship
barn, konsumtion, ekonomi, kompisar, vänskap
Research subject Economy; Economy, Marketing; Social Sciences, Gender Studies; Social Sciences, Social Work
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-30734DOI: 10.1108/17473611211233477OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-30734DiVA: diva2:667354