University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

‘Kidfluencers’ lived experiences of influencer culture: thick or thin agency?

Shomai, Shilla, Unwin, Peter ORCID: and Sealey, Clive (2024) ‘Kidfluencers’ lived experiences of influencer culture: thick or thin agency? International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy. ISSN 0144-333X (Submitted)

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This study examined the retrospective experiences of young people as ‘kidfluencers’ on the social media platforms, Facebook, Instagram TikTok and YouTube. Kidfluencer is a relatively new term and refers to where young people actively exert influence through the use social media. The study is highly relevant in the context of the new law adopted by the French National Assembly in 2020 to provide a legal framework for the activities of child influencers on a range of online platforms. To date, France is the only country where such laws have been enacted. Thus far, there has been no specific evaluation of this law, and while this research is not such a specific evaluation, there has been very little research on the experiences of kidfluencing from kidfluencers themselves, making this study timely in this context. The study used semi-structured interviews to capture of the complexities of this phenomenon. The findings identified a number of issues associated with being a kidfluencer, such as affecting individuals’ work life balance, their education, how safe they felt online and physically, how they maintained friendships, pressure to increase their profile, and their mental health wellbeing. Overall, the study suggests that kidfluencing does have specific negative effects on kidfluencers and their experiences of childhood. This makes the study relevant in providing evidence which suggests that the French legislative approach is relevant and that there does need to be regulation in the other countries to deal with this issue.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
J Political Science > J General legislative and executive papers
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Allied Health and Community
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Clive Sealey
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2024 10:35
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2024 10:35

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