Factors surrounding adolescents' counterfeit purchasing: An exploratory study

Date
2017-01-01
Authors
Park-Poaps, Haesun
Galster, Jennifer
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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of personal and social factors of adolescents' counterfeit purchasing, using a focus group interview with 6 adolescents. The results show that use of socio-emotional network is prevalent in adolescents' counterfeit purchasing behavior. Subjects expressed that status was irrelevant, rather personal preference was the primary motivation of purchasing counterfeits. Past counterfeit purchase experience of their own and family members were found influential in subjects' counterfeit purchasing. Consistent to social control theory, counterfeit purchasers are likely to purchase counterfeits and family plays a significant role in it. Subjects all agreed to the comforts and excitement they experienced when shopping for counterfeits with family and/or friends. The most interesting finding of this study is that the subjects perceived or believed that that counterfeit goods and counterfeit purchasing were nothing but normal. All subjects were unaware of anything negative about counterfeit merchandise. Common assumption that counterfeit purchasers seek status or symbolic gains was not supported in this study. The finding indicates that the education regarding consumer ethics is significantly lacking. The society and the family do not seem to provide normative basis of ethical consumption. Consumer education needs to start in early years and thus shape children and adolescents ethical consumer behaviors.

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