The Role of Commodified Celebrities in Children's Moral Development: The Case of David Beckham

PC Gaya Wicks, A. Nairn, C. Griffin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

This paper explores some of the subtle and complex roles which consumption culture may play in the moral development of children. We concentrate on the role of commodified celebrities in children's understanding of moral questions, taking English soccer hero David Beckham as an example. We address three questions: first, how do children draw on celebrities to shape their understanding of moral issues?; second, what kind of morality is likely to emerge when iconic celebrities become a site in which children's relationship to moral issues is developed?; and third, what does this mean for children's understanding of a global media culture which revolves around a culture of spectacle and commodified celebrity? Our findings emphasise both the role of consumption culture as a framework within which moral unfolding happens, and children's ability to construct morally engaged positions which hold complexity and ambivalence around specific aspects of consumption culture. We propose that the kind of morality that emerges herein can be characterised as ambivalent, contested, negotiated, located and mediated.
Translated title of the contributionThe Role of Commodified Celebrities in Children's Moral Development: The Case of David Beckham
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401 - 424
JournalConsumption, Markets and Culture
Volume10(4)
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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