Children's development as consumers of fashion: an ethnographic study
Istituto di Consumi, Comportamento e Comunicazione d'Impresa IULM University Milan, Italy
The present contribution examines the experience of using ethnographic methods for investigating children's development as consumers (McNeal 2007) of fashion.
After an explorative study on the communication stimuli children are typically exposed to in apparel retail settings, 60 children (2-4, 5-7 and 8-10 years old) and their companions have been unobtrusively observed in 10 children?s wear stores of Milan. The ethnographic work emphasizes how children can learn their consumer role through the interaction of both social and environmental influences. Specifically, social influences include co-shoppers (parents, siblings, other relatives and peers), other consumers shopping in the store and sales personnel. Environmental influences include products, product labels, display units, furniture and in-store communication tools such as catalogues, posters and other PoP materials. Furthermore, the paper analyses contents and mechanism of learning about fashion, consumer behavior and consumer culture.