Understanding Children’s Economie Socialization

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Abstract

Different methods were employed to investigate children’s sources of economic information. Children, aged 11 to 12 years and in the first year of secondary school, were observed in supermarkets, interviewed, and asked to play the role of advertisers or economic message transmitters. Three types of information sources were identified: active, entertaining, and social information sources. It was shown that shopping is an important and new source of information at this stage in life. As regards entertaining information, attitudes of boys and girls towards TV commercials differed: While boys consider advertising as a source of information, girls look at it as entertainment. The location of social information sources moved from the family to larger settings: entering high school gives autonomy to children, they can go shopping on their own, they are accepted as partners in adults’ conversations. All these conditions make this period of life amenable to economic education.