Literature Review: Consumerism and Body Image
“A consumer is someone who spends (or has
the potential to spend) money on goods and
services for private use” (Consumer Strategy Group, 2005, p. 4). This illustrates that we
are all consumers. Arnett (2007) suggests that consumer culture is now predominant inIreland. He purports that as a religious influence on teenagers has diminished in recentyears they have become increasingly susceptible to the power of advertising as socialvalues are changing. The Central Statistics Office figures released from the Censes in 2011shows that there are 1,130,016 young people in Ireland under 19 years of age, comprising35% of the population. This suggests that manufactures of various brands will identity thiscohort as one of their target markets. Tovey and Share (2003) also note the development of a consumer culture in Ireland focuses on products that claim to enhance the body image.They also suggest that a heightened focus on cosmetics and fashion targets young peoplewho are attempting to forge their own identity.
Adolescence, Identity and Body Image
lescence is a time when most children begin to form a solid sense of identity, a fullersense of identity, a fuller sense of self awareness and greater feelings of
(Bukatko, 2008, p. 531). Adolescence occurs during the ages of 11 to 21 and is noted to beone of the most dynamic times during human development (Macionis and Plummer, 2005).
One of the dominant challenges for young adolescents is the idea of identity. “Identity is
about belonging, about what you have in common with some people and whatdi
fferentiates you from others” (Weeks,1991) (
as cited in Macionis and Plummer, 2005).Coplan and Killen (2011) supports the above understanding but underlines three keyconcepts which include self- concept, self esteem and self- efficacy. To some extentGiddens (2004) would expand on this idea as he argues that identity formation is carried