The role of commodified celebrities in children's moral development: the case of David Beckham

Patricia Gayá Wicks, Agnes Nairn, Christine Griffin

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section

143 Downloads (Pure)


Research around the moral dimension of children’s involvement in consumption culture has tended to focus on the ethics of targeting children as a specific market segment and on children’s progressive cognitive ability to understand either the persuasive intent of commercial advertising or the symbolism inherent in brands. In contrast, this paper explores the subtle and complex roles which consumption culture may play in the moral development of children themselves. Just as a cognitive development approach to understanding how children relate to advertising and brand symbolism is limited, so too are philosophical approaches narrowly equating moral development with cognitive development. We draw on perspectives which consider the social and cultural context of moral evolution to frame a qualitative study of children’s relationships with commodified celebrities. We focus on the part played by celebrity soccer player David Beckham in providing children with a means of debating and negotiating the moral ambiguities and complexities of contemporary consumer culture, especially those relating to the cults of the celebrity and of the spectacle.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBrands
Subtitle of host publicationInterdisciplinary Perspectives
EditorsJ. E. Schroeder
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9781317658535
ISBN (Print)9781138787964
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'The role of commodified celebrities in children's moral development: the case of David Beckham'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this