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Souped-up car
Souped-up car

Press Release - 16 June 2005

From ‘bling’ to ‘Keved-up’ cars: invitation to parents and teachers to get insight into consumer lives of young people

Parents, teachers and youth workers will have the chance to find out about the latest consumer trends and their influence on young people at a special event taking place at the University of Bath next week (4.30-6.30 pm, Thursday 23 June 2005).

From the latest ‘bling’ accessories to cars with spoilers and large exhausts, many adults have become worried about what young people buy and the pressures exerted on them to consume the ‘right’ products and brands.

Researchers at the University have been looking at a range of issues surrounding young people in today’s consumer society, and will be giving local people the chance to learn about some of their findings and discuss their implications.

“There has been widespread concern in recent years about children and young people in today’s consumer society, but we still know relatively little about how children and young people view this issue or how it affects their relationships with their parents and friends,” said Dr Christine Griffin from the Department of Psychology who has organised the event.

“Living in a consumer society has profound implications for how we think of and position ourselves in relation to other individuals and groups of people. This means that people can treat their possessions as making statements about themselves, and as extensions or reflections of themselves.

"This can be particularly important for certain groups of young people, such as young men who modify cars.

“They take pride in their ability to transform standard production models into customised cars that are scarcely recognisable as Vauxhall Astras or Novas, marking themselves out as different from other 'normal' drivers who simply use their vehicles to get from A to B, and enabling them to identify as unique individuals in their own right."

The talks include:

The event has been organised as part of Social Science Week (20-24 June 2005) - a national series of events coordinated by the Economic and Social Research Council to celebrate the social sciences.

Tickets for this event are free, but need to be reserved by calling Vanessa Cuthill on 01225 383 348.

The event is taking place in the 6 West lecture room on the University’s Claverton Down campus, from 4.30-6.30 on Thursday 23 June 2005.


Social Science Week 2005 takes place across the UK from Monday 20 to Friday 24 June. The week is an initiative from the Economic and Social Resource Council (ESRC) and aims to offer a diverse audience, the opportunity to experience how social science research can contribute to better understanding and policy making – which can benefit society and enhance lives. Through a series of national events, social scientists will analyse a range of problems – from global poverty, alcohol issues, and challenges in the food industry, to behavioural issues, charity giving, and a host of other socio - economic topics.

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