Consumer socialization

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Consumer socialization is the process by which young people develop consumer related skills, knowledge and attitudes.[1] This field of study has increasingly interested policy makers, marketers, consumer educator and students of socialization.[2]

George Moschis and Gilbert A. Churchill Jr posit that mass media, parents, school and peers are all agents of consumer socialization. According to this theory children and young adults learn the rational aspects of consumption from their parents while the mass media teaches them to give social meaning to products; schools teach the importance of economic wisdom and finally peers exercise varying social pressures.[2]

Research in this field is primarily based on two models of human learning: the cognitive development model, which stem primarily from the works of Jean Piaget, and the social learning model, which is based primarily on neo-Hullian, neo-Skinerian and social learning theory.

This aspect of child socialization started receiving academic attention in early 1970s.[3][4] Systematic academic research in this area was triggerred by charges of various consumer advocacy groups which were concerned with the effects of marketing, especially TV advertising on children.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Scott Ward, "Consumer Socialization" Journal of Consumer Research , Vol. 1, No. 2 (Sep., 1974), pp. 1-14 Published by: The University of Chicago Press Article Stable URL:
  2. ^ a b George P. Moschis and Gilbert A. Churchill, "Consumer Socialization: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Jr. Journal of Marketing Research , Vol. 15, No. 4 (Nov., 1978), pp. 599-609 Published by: American Marketing Association Article Stable URL:
  3. ^ a b Consumer Socialization, by Scott Ward, Journal of Consumer Research, 1974
  4. ^ John, Deborah Roedder (1999): "Consumer socialization of children: A retrospective look at twenty-five years of research", Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 26, No. 3, pp. 183–213