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Understanding the effects of adolescent girls' social positions within peer groups on exchange practices

Understanding the effects of adolescent girls' social positions within peer groups on exchange... Most adolescent consumer research focuses on individual variables (e.g. susceptibility to peers' influence), without studying the peer group structure. This research investigates the role of adolescent girls' social position within their networks in exchange practices with friends. By using several different methods (social network method, participant observations and semi‐structured interviews), this study reveals that different forms of clothing exchanges (sharing, lending and borrowing) associated with different social motives (needs for socialising, experiencing, belonging, distinguishing and influencing) evolve differently, depending on adolescent girls' social positions (clique member, liaison and isolate). Whereas clique members engage in sharing practices to socialise and share experiences with their friends, isolated adolescent girls engage in other activities (e.g. asking to borrow clothes) as a way to cope with feelings of loneliness. Some liaisons limit their exchange practices to loans, to emphasise their leadership, but most of them avoid sharing clothes in an attempt to preserve their uniqueness. These results suggest an extended view of materialism, with greater emphasis on use and social motives than on acquisition and its utility. Accordingly, this study proposes a new conceptualisation of materialism, as the extent to which adolescents engage in exchange practices to construct and maintain their social identities. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Consumer Behaviour Wiley

Understanding the effects of adolescent girls' social positions within peer groups on exchange practices

Journal of Consumer Behaviour , Volume 13 (1) – Jan 1, 2014

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
ISSN
1472-0817
eISSN
1479-1838
DOI
10.1002/cb.1460
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Most adolescent consumer research focuses on individual variables (e.g. susceptibility to peers' influence), without studying the peer group structure. This research investigates the role of adolescent girls' social position within their networks in exchange practices with friends. By using several different methods (social network method, participant observations and semi‐structured interviews), this study reveals that different forms of clothing exchanges (sharing, lending and borrowing) associated with different social motives (needs for socialising, experiencing, belonging, distinguishing and influencing) evolve differently, depending on adolescent girls' social positions (clique member, liaison and isolate). Whereas clique members engage in sharing practices to socialise and share experiences with their friends, isolated adolescent girls engage in other activities (e.g. asking to borrow clothes) as a way to cope with feelings of loneliness. Some liaisons limit their exchange practices to loans, to emphasise their leadership, but most of them avoid sharing clothes in an attempt to preserve their uniqueness. These results suggest an extended view of materialism, with greater emphasis on use and social motives than on acquisition and its utility. Accordingly, this study proposes a new conceptualisation of materialism, as the extent to which adolescents engage in exchange practices to construct and maintain their social identities. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Journal

Journal of Consumer BehaviourWiley

Published: Jan 1, 2014

References