Teenagers and Materialism

Teenagers have always been linked in some way to materialism, but what is it exactly what makes us relate both terms? What is it that makes them so much more vulnerable to certain products than other people, like kids or mature adults since everyone is on the receiving end of marketing in all its forms? In order to answer these questions it is necessary to define materialism and the teen stage of life, as well as which specific characteristics lead us to materialism.

There are several ways to define what materialism is, for instance the most important definitions of this particular term are the ones given by Belk, and Richins and Dawson. Belk (1984, 1985) conceptualized materialism as “the manifestation of three personality traits:
• possessiveness,
• non-generosity,
• envy”.
On the other hand,   Richins and Dawson (1992) said that the “conceptualization of materialism revolves around the idea that materialism is a central organizing value which leads to a number of value orientations”, said value orientations refer to acquisition as a way of seeking for happiness, success defined by possessions, and acquisition/possession centrality.
As we can see, both definitions include the actions of possession, but it is interesting to see how in the second definition the author transmits that through possession people can actually be trying to accomplishing or actually be in the search of such strong feelings as success and happiness.
Now, what all this has to do with adolescence, well first of all an adolescent is defined as to be experiencing “a time of exploration and identity creation” by Roberts, Manolis, and Tanner.  
By saying that being a teenager consists of creating or own identity they mean that they are in a stage in which they are looking up to others’ actions, they copy the way other people develop in every possible aspect. This means that they even tend to copy, try to imitate everything they think their peers or family or...
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