Orman Sk Nişantepe Mahallesi, Çekmeköy, İstanbul34794
Title: Unveiling (In)Vulnerability in an Adolescent’s Consumption Subculture: A Framework to Understand Adolescents’ Experienced (In)Vulnerability and Ethical Implications
Abstract: Consumer (in)vulnerability is studied via a quasi-ethnographic longitudinal study of adolescents aged 11–15. The study focuses on how adolescents define their own vulnerabilities within their adolescent consumption subcultures, the factors enhancing this vulnerability, and the social actors involved in their experience of vulnerability. The findings contribute to the consumer vulnerability literature in three ways. First, by adopting an adolescent-centric approach based on an emic perspective, we go beyond the monolithic approach of studying one source of vulnerability at a time seen in present marketing literature. Instead, we introduce a polyadic, or multiple simultaneous approach that can consider risk trade-offs. Second, the findings show that adolescents’ perceptions of consumer vulnerability are anchored within their consumption subcultures. This study introduces the concept that young consumers experience vulnerability in multiple ways, including imposed by adults or by adolescents deliberately engaging in risky behaviors. Third, this research provides ethics policy-makers and scholars with the conceptual framework of Adolescent-Centric Vulnerability (ACV), which can help them to develop actions based on both the light and dark sides of an adolescent’s perception of consumer vulnerability.