Fashion victims? New study explores brands and childhood

Posted by pt91 at Sep 19, 2011 03:20 PM |
A new study by a University of Leicester sociologist finds children’s fashion decisions influenced by a multitude of factors.

Dr Jane Pilcher of our Department of Sociology has found that despite even very young children having a great deal of knowledge about the clothing retail sector, the strongest influences on them are family attitudes, peer pressure and celebrity culture.

Dr Pilcher’s research, published in the journal Childhood, was unusual in studying the influence of fashion on youngsters between the ages of five and twelve years.

While she agrees there are worries surrounding children and fashion, she believes it would be unrealistic to expect the nature of childhood to stay the same when society itself is changing and becoming dominated by consumerism and the celebrity culture.

Indeed, children may be equally inclined to reject certain influences due to their negative associations. Dr Pilcher believes that scenes of looters stealing certain branded items in the recent riots may have the effect of ‘tainting’ those brands.

The research was co-funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of the 5 year ‘Cultures of Consumption’ research programme.