Consuming For Recognition: South African Youth Consumption Of Status Clothing

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Hilda Bongazana Dondolo
Nkosivile Welcome Madinga


Status Consumption; Group Identity; Materialism; Clothing Involvement


Buying expensive and fashionable brands to portray social status is increasing rapidly among South African township youth. The South African youth mainly spend their income on status-depicting clothing in order to conform to social settings and groups and to be noticed by their community. This study investigates the factors influencing the need to consume status-depicting clothing items among South African township youth. A self-completing survey questionnaire was administered to 400 youth consumers from three township malls in the Sedibeng district, Gauteng region of South Africa. Regression analysis was employed to analyse the data. The results suggest that materialism, fashion clothing involvement and group identity are key factors predicting status consumption among South African township youth consumers (aged 18-24 years). Marketers interested in targeting status conscious township youth consumers are advised to devise their advertisements in such a way that they emphasise the brand or product’s ability to indicate status.


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