Elliot, R., Leonard, C., (2004). Peer pressure and poverty: Exploring fashion brands and consumption symbolism among children of the ‘British poor’.Journal of Consumer Behavior Vol. 3, 4, 347–359.

Attitudes towards fashion brands (trainers/athletic shoes) and their symbolic meanings are explored among a sample of 30 children aged 8–12 years from poor homes in the UK, in an interpretive study using projective methods. The children form stereotypes about the owners of trainers: if the trainers are obviously branded and expensive the children believe the owner to be rich and young, if the trainer is unbranded and inexpensive looking the children believe the owner to be poor and old. If a child is wearing branded trainers they are seen as popular and able to fit in with their peers. These opinions are so strongly held that the children would prefer to talk to someone wearing branded trainers than unbranded trainers. The children also feel pressure to wear the trainers that their friends wear, partly to make friends and fit in and partly because of the teasing experienced if they are wearing unbranded clothes or are clearly from a poor home. Copyright © 2004 Henry Stewart Publications.

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