Performing the high-school prom in the UK: Locating authenticity through practice



Tinson J & Nuttall P (2011) Performing the high-school prom in the UK: Locating authenticity through practice. Journal of Marketing Management, 27 (9/10), pp. 1007-1026.;

The purpose of this study was threefold: to develop an understanding of the appropriation of the US High School Prom in the UK and more importantly to generate an insight into the producers and consumers of such an event; to establish if the performance of the prom is hyper-real or if there is an awareness of the authentic or inauthentic elements of this ritual and finally to ascertain local interpretation of authenticity and glocal practice. The method used here was a qualitative approach employing 24 in-depth interviews with young adults (18-20 years) who had attended a prom in the UK in the last three years. The findings illustrated that the role and the social network of the individual was key to engagement with the High School Prom and also indicated a possible symbiosis of the strands of theory associated with authenticity. Diverse localised meanings of the prom performance were also identified. As the school prom is a growth market in the UK businesses should be aware of adolescents’ desire for ownership of this event and should tailor their marketing accordingly.

Adolescence; Authenticity; Qualitative Research; Rituals; Organisation; Practice; Decision making in children; Family and parenthood, policy and practice; Family Psychological aspects

Journal of Marketing Management: Volume 27, Issue 9/10

Publication date31/08/2011
Date accepted by journal01/01/1990
PublisherTaylor & Francis (Routledge) / Westburn Publishers Ltd.
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Professor Julie Tinson

Professor Julie Tinson

Professor of Marketing, Marketing & Retail