Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Business and Management.

Publication Details

Academy of Marketing Annual Conference 2008, Aberdeen Business School


This paper explores the contemporary role of fathers in child-driven materialistic consumption, a little explored territory. Commencing with an exploration of the child consumer and their influence in personal and family spending, both of which have grown considerably over that last number of decades, followed by an analysis of changes in families and the role fathers now play in the aforementioned. It is also acknowledged that fathers have previously been ignored to a large extent in the majority of research studies concerning parent-child consumption and purchases. As such, valuable insights emerged through an interpretative framework utilised to explore this area. Furthermore, the use of semi-structured interviews allowed fathers’ ‘lived’ experiences of the purchase and consumption process to emerge. Findings result in fathers, on the one hand, portraying themselves as the traditional authoritarian figure, claiming their spouses relent to materialistic consumption, while concurrently initiating a portion of materialistic purchases themselves. These emergent findings result in an obvious tension within fathers’ awareness of the more traditional models of fathering: the strong, authoritative, sensible and responsible parent, versus their recognition of a contemporary dilution of same: the sensitive, involved, engaged, explanatory father.



DIT School of Retail and Distribution