Listen to Mama: maternal contributions to the consumer socialisation journey of a child

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    This is the story of the lived experience of a mother and how she influences her teenage son’s consumer behaviour of sports and sporting brands. The critical, relational autoethnography that forms the basis of the research is written by the mother, and interpreted and contextualised within a theoretical framework by collaborative researchers. Autoethnography is a research method under-used in the business environment, and we aim to illustrate how such research can shed light on important aspects of the individual’s behaviour, in this case, within the context of the consumption of sports activities and peripheral merchandise. This method provides significant insight into rich, thick, qualitative data which illustrates components of the teenager’s consumer behaviour within a social setting. The paper gives important indications for the potential of parental (in this case, maternal) influence on the marketing-related construct of consumer socialisation, or the way in which the child - a consumer, and also a consumer in waiting - learns to engage with consumer goods. Findings also suggest vicarious participation and consumption on the part of the mother to compensate for shortcomings in her childhood experiences, and an attempt to obviate FOMO (fear of missing out) in her son. The study provides implications for further research in the area by gathering autoethnographies from other parents, but also for investigation of the phenomenon on a wider scale, potentially using different qualitative methods.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2020
    Event7th International Conference of Autoethnography: ICAE - Virtual, Bristol, United Kingdom
    Duration: 19 Jul 202021 Jul 2020
    Conference number: 7


    Conference7th International Conference of Autoethnography
    Abbreviated titleICAE 2020
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    Internet address


    • Consumer Behaviour
    • Infuence
    • Child Consumer
    • Brands
    • Sporting brands


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