The Role of Social Media in the Creation of Young People’s Consumer Identities
Wilska, T.-A., Holkkola, M., & Tuominen, J. (2023). The Role of Social Media in the Creation of Young People’s Consumer Identities. SAGE Open, 13(2). https://doi.org/10.1177/21582440231177030
Published inSAGE Open
© The Author(s) 2023
This article explores how young people construct and express their consumer identities via their consumption styles on social media. The importance of commercial content on social media, such as the postings of social media influencers and advertisers, has been increasing during the past years. Framed by theories on social identity, social comparison and consumer socialization, we analysed focus group discussions with 15 to 19-year-old teenagers in Finland (N = 35). The results reveal that the participants had a clear understanding of their consumer identities: what kind of consumers they were and what they did not want to be. The consumption styles: luxury brand-oriented, trendy second-hand and sustainable, were heavily affected by social media, particularly by commercial social media influencers. Although our sample of young people was rather small, the results were consistent with other studies, and provided deeper understanding of the important role of commercial social media in young people’s consumption styles. Thereby, the research brings social media more tightly into the process of young consumers’ identity formation. For today’s young people, consumer identity is a major part of social identity which is greatly affected by social media. This is should be acknowledged by commercial actors, educators and consumer policy makers. ...
new media communication technologies mass communication communication social sciences sociology social psychology human communication communication studies media consumption media and society media sosiaalinen media kuluttajat viestintätekniikka viestintä uusmedia joukkoviestintä nuoret markkinointiviestintä viestintätutkimus kulutus
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Related funder(s)Academy of Finland
Funding program(s)Strategic research programmes, AoF; Academy Programme, AoF
Additional information about fundingThe author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was financially supported by The Academy of Finland [Grant number 320370] and The Strategic Research Council [Grant number 327237]. The funding source had no contribution to the writing process of this article.
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