Journal of Consumer Policy

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 441–463

Mobile Phone Use as Part of Young People's Consumption Styles

  • Terhi-Anna Wilska

DOI: 10.1023/A:1026331016172

Cite this article as:
Wilska, TA. Journal of Consumer Policy (2003) 26: 441. doi:10.1023/A:1026331016172


The paper reports on an empirical study of the connection between consumption patterns and mobile phone use. The data stem from a survey of Finnish young people aged 16–20. The results indicate that young people's relationship to the mobile phone is consistent with their general consumption styles. An "addictive" use of the phone was related to "trendy" and "impulsive" consumption styles and prevalent among females. Technology enthusiasm and trend-consciousness was linked to impulsive consumption and "hard" values and prevalent among males. A frugal mobile phone use was not related to gender but to environmentalism and thrifty consumption in general. The traditional gender division in mobile phone use styles that could be observed is interesting in the light of conjectures that genders are becoming more alike in their use of new technology. Technology enthusiasm, usually regarded as a "typically male" thing, was also linked to "female" consumption styles. This may reflect young men's changing relationship to consumption.

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Terhi-Anna Wilska
    • 1
  1. 1.Finnish Youth Research Network, Olympiastadion, EteläkaarreHelsinkiFinland