Materialism and Generation Y: Exploring adolescents' monetary attitudes and practices,

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Drawing upon survey data collected in New York (NY) and Virginia (VA), this research presents findings on monetary attitudes and practices of 100 Generation Y students while they were adolescents (aged 14-18 in the year 2000). Findings reveal geographic location is significantly related to adolescents' belief in the importance of money, with NY youth valuing money more than those in VA. Importance of money was significantly correlated with the beliefs that an ability to buy more things would make them happier, material things showed success and that the things they owned were important to them. Collectively, 71% of adolescents who reported saving money did so with the aim of purchasing material objects, particularly clothes. Qualitative findings show how adolescents would spend a hypothetical gift of $1000, revealing saving and buying clothes to be the two most popular choices rather than altruistic endeavours. Overall, this sample of Generation Y youth exhibited materialistic tendencies, providing a foundation for future research to assess if and when this generation manifests its predicted backlash to materialism.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTASA 2008 conference
Subtitle of host publicationRe-imagining Sociology
Place of PublicationMelbourne
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9780734039842
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventThe Australian Sociological Association (TASA) Conference - Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Duration: 02 Dec 200805 Dec 2008


ConferenceThe Australian Sociological Association (TASA) Conference


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