Gift-giving of toys from adults to children.
Bremner, Pauline Ann Mary
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The focus of this study is the consumer behaviour habits of adults giving of toys to children aged 11 and under as gifts. It is borne out of a need to understand why adults buy gifts for children adding to the issues on consumption practices and materialism. It begins by discussing the issues of researching with children, outlining an exploratory artwork session conducted with children prior to making a decision to use adults as the unit of assessment for the study and to take a positivist stance. The literature review chapter explores the concepts of gift-giving of toys to children by synthesising topics of consumer behaviour and gift-giving as fields of study. It considers gift-giving models and focuses on buyer behaviour when gift-giving; information sources used in gifting; whether adults are concerned about gift-giving; adults roles and motivations in gift-gifting and relationship impacts between adults and children for incorrect gifting. These themes are researched within a demographic perspective keeping in mind the consumer socialisation issues and a figure is developed to show the hypotheses for testing. The methodology takes into account both interpretivist and positivist philosophies reaffirming the reasons for a positivist choice. Semi structured interviews are used in two phases to explore adults perceptions of gift-giving in general and gift-giving of toys to children. The main data collection instrument was a structured questionnaire which developed and extended previous researchers’ items. This questionnaire was distributed across a sample section of schools within the Aberdeen City and suburbs via a homework bag method. The value of the study lies in the contribution to knowledge through the analysis of the data. Contribution was found to exist with roles and motivations in gifting where three new roles were highlighted and one discounted. For information sources the interpersonal sources were important to mothers; the internet was found to be a new source, and mass media was found to be popular with a lower educated strata giving rise to issues for TV advertising policy. Differences existed between gifting at Christmas and birthday times and to adults’ own and other children providing contribution to the lack of birthday gifting research and to the givers’ perspective. A number of demographics such as gender, education and marital status were found to be important in understanding this gifting behaviour, whereas age on the other hand, did not. Finally, recommendations are made to policy makers from these contributions in particular regarding information sources and the education of children.