Mobile Phone Culture Among Tweens in the Faroe Islands

Elin Klein Joensen

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

This master thesis examines mobile phone culture among tweens in the Faroe Islands. Through qualitative interviews of 25 tweens ages 10‐12 from five different geographical areas, the research investigates how Faroese Tweens acquire and use mobile phones, which factors influence their choice of mobile phones, what characterizes the Faroese Tween segment and which ethical and legal issues a responsible company should consider, when selling and marketing mobile phones to Faroese Tweens. Because this is a research conducted by a qualitative in‐debt method, it cannot be generalized to the whole country, but is a helpful tool, to understand the mobile phone culture from a few individuals through their views and beliefs. The research shows, that Faroese tweens acquire mobile phones at an early age and most have owned several mobile phones before the age of 12. They usually receive their phones as gifts from their parents, for either practical reasons or because they have pestered their parents to get a phone. The main factors of influence are friends and peers, as having a popular mobile phone, fulfills their social needs and recognition. Most own a smartphone, which they customize, to reflect their personalities. In accordance with other international studies, the Faroese tween girls are more sophisticated socialized consumers, than the boys, who mainly focus on the phone’s gaming functions. For both genders, one of the most important asset of the phone is safety and to be able to reach their parents for practical reasons. A central topic of the thesis is, while the parents are responsible for setting guidelines and restrictions for children’s mobile use, the large majority of the tweens say, they have significantly better mobile knowledge and skills, than their parents. This raises questions, of how healthy the tweens’ mobile culture is and who ultimately has the ethical responsibility, to secure their wellbeing. In a Faroese context, I argue, that it is the mobile phone providers and the government, as the sole shareholder of the largest telecommunication company on the islands, who have a responsibility to provide suitable information and education to the younger generation.

EducationsMSocSc in Management of Creative Business Processes , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2012
Number of pages68