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Title: Playing along : a contextualised study of children's advertising experiences
Author: Bartholomew, Alice de la F. W.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2001
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This thesis explores the advertising experiences of children in Primary 7 and Secondary 1. It aims to provide a broader, richer, more contextualised understanding of children's interaction with advertising. It is hoped that it will inform debates about children and advertising and that it may have implications for public policy making and provide guidance for appropriate, socially responsible advertising to children. Literature is reviewed on the current environment of children's relationship with advertising. Attention is then given to cognitive and effects based studies, followed by research into the context of children's everyday lives and new theoretical perspectives relating to their advertising experiences. Employing an interpretive approach, qualitative methods and techniques were used to explore children's relationship with advertising from their own perspective. The fieldwork was carried out with 39 boys and girls drawn from a playscheme and three different schooling locations. Individual 'lifeworld' interviews were carried out in the children's homes. These were autodriven by informants through photographs they had taken of their bedrooms and a week in their lives. Children's advertising experiences were subsequently explored through 13 small group discussions based on existing friendship relationships. Far from being passive, the children were actively engaged with advertising and adopted a purposeful and often critical approach to its consumption. The lifeworld interviews revealed that the children shared two existential and dialectical concerns based on the needs for autonomy and affiliation. While the autonomy theme comprised the children's focus on mastering, controlling and criticising, affiliation involved their emphasis on bonding, belonging and becoming. Together these concerns were found to motivate and shape the children's everyday experiences and the many advertising roles they assumed. The thesis concludes with a discussion of the implications of the study for public policy makers and advertising practitioners and suggests avenues for future research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available