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Title: Understanding the role of friendship groups in consumer socialization by examining the consumption of fashion
Author: Yalkin, Çagri
ISNI:       0000 0004 2717 1205
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2010
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The aim of this thesis is to explore the role of friendship groups as the context of socialization and to provide an account of the actual use of fashion goods in the consumer socialization process. The thesis draws on recent reviews in socialization (Harris, 1999), which suggests a re-examination of the role of the environmental in consumer socialization. This work suggests studying what consumer knowledge, skills and competence means for consumers in different contexts (Cook 2004) and the actual use and consumption of goods need to be featured in consumer socialization studies (Ekström 2006). It also suggests that talking and emotional sharing is a significant part of women's friendships and that these friendships take place against a backdrop of an activity (Sheehy 2000). In light of this recent work, this thesis studies consumer socialization in the female's friendship groups' by qualitatively inquiring about their consumption and use of fashion. Analysis and interpretation of the data collected through focus groups and interviews with 12 to 16 year-old adolescents revealed that the information flow in friendship groups leads to communication, which serves as the key catalyst of consumer socialization. The friendship group, furthermore, emerged as the 'site' where the socialization process took place, as suggested by Harris (1995; 1999). Adolescents are able to strengthen both rational and symbolic skills within their friendship group by participating in the background act of 'going shopping' and by talking about consumption related issues, hence enabling them to operate as successful consumers in the marketplace. The gendered consumer identity is also negotiated within the context of shopping, consuming fashion, and marking individuality versus belonging in one's friendship group. Finally, the data analysis revealed that the adolescents surrealize the images in fashion communications as a way to resists such advertisements.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HF Commerce