The Influence of Smartphone Consumption on Adolescents Identity Construction: A Qualitative Exploration of How Symbolic Consumption Relate to Smartphone Consumption and Identity Construction Among Danish Adolescents

Sofie Pouline Meinertz

Student thesis: Master thesis


The omnipresent technology is facilitating the communication between individuals through various channels represented by diverse features of modern mobile phone devices that enables interaction of people across time and space. The purpose of this thesis is to explore the underlying reasons why Danish adolescents increasingly comprise technology into their daily routines. This thesis seeks to understand the relationship between identity construction and symbolic consumption with specific reference to Smartphone consumption among adolescents. While John’s (1999) conceptual framework for understanding Consumer Socialization is applied to account for children’s cognitive and social development, the conceptualization of Identity Construction and Symbolic Consumption is adopted to render an in-depth exploration of the effects Smartphones have on adolescents relevant for their functioning as consumers in the marketplace. Based on an interpretive research philosophy, and carried out as a qualitative study, this thesis provides an empiricallyrich account for the experiences adolescents have with Smartphones in the ongoing process of acquiring symbolic possessions to reflect identity. Findings suggest that Smartphones enter adolescent’s reflective processes of identity construction based on the experiential and symbolic values it provides. When adolescents increasingly integrate Smartphones into their sense of self, it is because they have become dependent on the habitual behavior of utilizing Smartphones in every aspect of their lives. For marketers, this thesis is relevant as it reveals significant aspects of adolescent’s Smartphone consumption that influence how they encounter the product, providing marketers with an understanding of the concepts and dynamics related to how adolescents eventually integrate and consume Smartphones.

EducationsMSc in Brand and Communications Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2019
Number of pages71