Branded selves : how children in Norway relate to marketing on a social network site


Publication date


Series/Report no

Journal of children and media;3 (3)


Taylor & Francis

Document type


Theories of branding and self presentation inform an ethnographic study of how a group of classmates aged 11–12 construct identities by use of the brands and branded resources made available to them on the social network site and elsewhere on the Internet. In the analysis these resources are categorized as space, texts and tools. In using them the young people adopt commercial strategies for presentation of the self. Generally speaking, these users relate their self presentation to brands and branded resources in two different ways: either as collectors or as elaborators. Simple collection of branded resources appears to need less work and be more convincing and more unassailable than elaborating them into their digital self presentations. This gives rise to a disparity between the rich range of attractive and stimulating resources provided by marketers and the level of creativity shown when young users draw on them. Social competition plays a role in reinforcing a uniform use of brands and branded resources. This raises the threshold for free development of individual creativity in the production of digital self presentations on the commercial website.



This is an electronic version of an article published in Journal of children and media;3 (3), 2009. Journal of children and media is available online at: URL:

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