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Title: 'Sand in the hand' : young people's relationships with commercial media in the digital age
Author: Grant, Ian C.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2006
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This thesis explores young people's experiences of contemporary, commercial media. It aims to provide a holistic understanding of new and more traditional media use. Moving beyond media effects, it takes an active consumer-centred approach, contextualising ‘new media’ consumption within the everyday lifestyles of young people. It compares and contrasts practitioner tactics with young people's lived experiences of internet and mobile use. The study draws its theoretical framework from the fields of communication studies, consumer behaviour, cultural studies, marketing, sociology and social psychology. Initial fieldwork consisted of 15 interviews with ‘expert’ agency practitioners, investigating perceptions of youth marketing and the tactics deployed. The main consumer phase explored the mediated experiences of adolescents aged 13-17. A total of 175 secondary school pupils completed self-completion questionnaire, a smaller sample then contributing a time-based diary. Beyond the quantitative fieldwork, 45 pupils participated in the qualitative phase, guided by the principles of phenomenology. Photo-elicitation and psycho-drawing techniques were utilised to enrichen discussions. Young people were found to have a complex range of ‘new-media’ experiences, embedded in their ‘in home’ and ‘out of home’ lifestyles. Their active use of the internet, for mood enhancement, experiential learning, escapism and communication, rarely encompassed commercial motivations. Of several barriers to ‘new-media’ use, online practitioner tactics caused the greatest concern. For many young people, such actions were deeply de-motivating, constituting an unwanted intrusion, in contrast to the symbiotic relationship synonymous with traditional advertising. Their consequent elusiveness is epitomised through the metaphor “sand in the hand”.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available