Nanncy Adagala-Ombuya


Recent years have witnessed the youth immerse themselves in the consumption of media for various uses and gratifications. Icons (celebrities) have continued to dominate the pages of magazines and newspapers. This study introduces print media consumption amongst the youth as a predictor of celebrity content in their consumer activities. The youth have unwittingly accommodated and imitated these icons. Considering the growing interest of youth in the magazines and newspaper features, it becomes necessary to examine how these celebrities influence the choices the youth make. The principle questions this article addresses is whether icons’ presence in the media fosters a new dependency, in other words diversifies dependency among the youth. This article is premised on the uses and gratifications theory, the use of dependency and reception theories in understanding the youth’s choices. The article is organized as follows; - firstly, I focus on the uses and gratifications and the dependency theory, which postulates dependency relations between individuals and media based consumerism. Secondly, I explore related literature on iconography. Succeeding sections of the article develop the research method, present the findings and discussion, the conclusion and, lastly, the recommendations. The results show the existence of Eurocentric implications and a negation of Afrocentrism. The study employed a desktop systematic paper review method.


Article visualizations:

Hit counter



Eurocentrism, Afrocentrism, iconography, celebrities/icons, culture historical

Full Text:



Alperstein, N. M. (2007). Imaginary social relationships with celebrities appearing in television commercials. Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, 35(1), 43-58.

Anderson, S. A., and Sabatelli, R. M. (2007). Family interaction: a multigenerational developmental perspective. Boston: Pearson/Allyn & Bacon.

Bandura, A. (2010). Social Learning Theory. Morristown, NJ: General Learning Press.

Beck, U. (2009). Risk society: Towards a new modernity. London: Sage.

Campbell, R. (2008). Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication. St. Martin’s Press, Inc.: New York.

Chan, K. (2015). Store visits and information sources among urban Chinese children, Journal of Consumer Marketing, 22(4), 178-188.

Chan, K., and McNeal, J. (2008). Parent-child communications about consumption and advertising in China. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 20(4), 317-332.

Clark, C., Osborne, S. and Dugdale, G. (2009). Reaching out with Role Models: Role Models and Young Peoples Reading. National Literacy Trust. London, UK.

Cyril de Run, E., Butt, M., and Yen Nee, C., (2010).” The influence of role models on Young Adults purchase”. Jurnal Kemanusiaan bil.15 Jun 2010.

Eighmey, J. and McCord, L. (2008). ‘Adding value in the information age: uses and gratifications of sites on the World Wide Web’, Journal of Business Research, 41(3): 187–194.

Ettinger, R.H., and Stefan H., G. (2007). Understanding psychology. California: Horizon Textbook Publishing.

Fay, J., and Yanoff, J. M. (2011). What are teens telling us about sexual health? Results of the Second Annual Youth Conference of the Pennsylvania Coalition to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. Journal of Sex Education and Therapy, 25(2/3), 169-177.

Giddens, A. (2010). Modernity and self-identity, self and society in the late modern age. Cambridge: Polity.

Greene, A. L., and Adams-Price, C. (2009). Adolescents’ secondary attachments to celebrity figures. Sex Roles, 23, 335-347.

Hood, T.(n.d.). ‘Teen Icons: Cultural Images and Adolescent Behavior’. http://smu.edu/ecenter/discourse (Accessed October 22, 2010).

Huntemann, Nina, and Morgan, Michael (2011) (n.d.). Mass media and identity development. In Singer, D. G., & Singer, J. L. (Eds.), Handbook of children and the media (pp. 309 – 322). Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.

Huston, Aletha C., and Wright, John C. (2009) (n.d.). Television and socialization of young children. In Macbeth, Tannis M. (Ed.). Tuning into young viewers: Social science perspectives on television (pp. 37 – 60). Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.

Joseph D. Straubhaar J. D., LaRose,R. and Davenport, L. (2007).Media Now: Understanding Media: Understanding Media, Culture and Technology, (7Thed.) Wadsworth, Cengage Learning

Kasser, T., Ryan, R. M., Couchman, C. E., and Sheldon, K. M. (2014). Materialistic values: Their causes and consequences. In T. Kasser & A. D. Kanner (Eds.), Psychology and Consumer Culture. Washington, D.C.: American Psychology Association.

Katz, E. and Blumler, J.A. (2013). ‘Uses and gratification research’, Public Opinion Quarterly, 37(4): 509–523.

Lash, S., and Urry, J. (2009). Economies of signs and space (2nd ed.). London: Sage.

Malkin, A. R., Wornian, K., and Chrisler, J. C. (2009). Women and weight: Gendered messages on magazine covers [Electronic version]. Sex Roles, 40(718), 647-655.

Martin, A J (2015), “Trends in Youth Culture: Reply to the Discussion,” Marxism Today, April, 1975, p. 114.

McCabe, M. P., and Ricciardelli, L. A. (2001). Parent, peer and media influences on body image and strategies to both increase and decrease body size among adolescent boys and girls [Electronic version]. Adolescence, 36(142), 225-240.

Mckee, B. (2009). Negative influences of media on the society. Retrieved June 5, 2010,

McQuail, D. (2015). Mass communication theory: An introduction. Sage Publication Limited: London, Thousand Oaks, New Dehli.

McRobbie, A. (2007). Top girls: Young women and the post-feminist social contract. Paper presented at ESRC Identities and Social Action public lecture, Milton Keynes, UK.

Musau, P. M. (2013). The Liberalization of the Mass Media in Africa and its Impact on Indigenous Languages: The Case of Kiswahili in Kenya Retrieved on 28Th November, 2013 from www.quosa.de/.../6_10_musua.pdf

Muuss, R. E. H. (2008). Theories of adolescence. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Myers, D. G. (2008). Social psychology. Boston: McGraw-Hill.

Norton, B. (2014). When is a teen magazine not a teen magazine? Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 45(4), 296-299.

Oliver, K. L. (2012). Images of the body from popular culture: Engaging adolescent girls in critical inquiry [Electronic version]. Sport, Education, and Society, 6(2), 143-164.

Paik, H. (2011). The history of children's uses of electronic media. In D. Singer & J. Singer (Eds.), Handbook of children and the media (pp. 289-307). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Pajares (2012). Overview of social cognitive theory and of self-efficacy. Retrieved August 28, 2003, from http://www.emory.edu/EDUCATION/mfp.eff.html.

Radway, J. (2015). Reading the romance: Women, patriarchy and popular literature. Chapel Hill:

Roy, S. (2009). ‘Internet uses and gratifications: A survey in the Indian context’, Computers in Human Behavior, 29: 878–886.

Ruggiero, T. (2014). ‘Uses and gratification theory in the 21st century’, Mass Communication and Society, 3(1): 3–37.

Saunders, S. (2014). Fromm’s marketing character and Rokeach values. Social Behavior and Personality, 29(2), 191-196.

Schlecht, C. (2013) ‘Celebrities’ Impact on Branding’.

http://worldlywriter.com/images/portfolio/Proposals/Celebrity_Branding.pdf. (Accessed September 26, 2011).

Schiffman, L. G., and Kanuk, L. L. (2009). Consumer Behavior. NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Schultze, Q. J., Anker, R. M., Bratt, J. D., Romanowkski, W. D., Worst, J. W., and Zuidervaart, L. (2012). Dancing in the Dark: Youth, Popular, Culture, and the Electronic Media. Grand Rapids, MI: Williams B. Eerdmans.

Schwarz, G. (2014). Exploring media literacy with young adults. The ALAN Review, 50-54. Seventeen Magazine.

Singer, D. G., and Singer, J. L. (2011) (n.d.). Introduction: Why a handbook on children and the media? In Singer, D. G., & Singer, J. L. (Eds.), Handbook of children and the media (pp. xi - xvii). Thousand

Sobel, M. E. (2007). Lifestyle and Social Structure: Concepts, Definitions, Analyses. New York: Academic Press.

Thompson, J. K., and Heinberg, L. J. (2009). The media's influence of body image disturbance and eating disorders: We've reviled them, now can we rehabilitate them? [Electronic version] Journal of Social Issues, 55(2), 339-353.

Thomsen, S. R., Weber, M. M. and Brown, L. B. (2013). The relationship between health and fitness magazine reading and eating-disordered weight-loss methods among high school girls. American Journal of Health Education, 32(3), 133-138.

Thomsen, S. R., and Brown, L. B. (2015). The relationship between reading beauty and fashion magazines and the use of pathogenic dieting methods among adolescent females. Adolescence, 37(145), 1-18. Retrieved June 6, 2015 from Academic Search Premier Database. YM Magazine. (2015, July). University of North Carolina Press.

Walkerdine, V., Lucey, H., and Melody, J. (2010). Growing up girl: Psychosocial explorations of gender and class. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave.

Wong, N. Y., and Ahuvia, A. C. (2008). Personal taste and family face: Luxury consumption in Confucian and Western societies. Psychology and Marketing, 15(5), 423-441.

Yau, O. H. M. (2008). Chinese cultural values: Their dimensions and marketing implications. European Journal of Marketing, 22(5), 44-57.

Yue, X. D., and Cheung, C. K. (2014). Selection of favorite idols and models among Chinese young people: A comparative study in Hong Kong and Nanjing. International Journal of Behavioral Development,24, 91-98.

Zhao, B. (2007). Consumerism, Confucianism, communism: Making sense of China today. New Left Review, 222(Mar-Apr), 43-59.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.46827/ejsss.v0i0.407

Copyright (c) 2018 Nanncy Adagala-Ombuya

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

The research works published in this journal are free to be accessed. They can be shared (copied and redistributed in any medium or format) and\or adapted (remixed, transformed, and built upon the material for any purpose, commercially and\or not commercially) under the following terms: attribution (appropriate credit must be given indicating original authors, research work name and publication name mentioning if changes were made) and without adding additional restrictions (without restricting others from doing anything the actual license permits). Authors retain the full copyright of their published research works and cannot revoke these freedoms as long as the license terms are followed.

Copyright © 2016 - 2023. European Journal Of Social Sciences Studies (ISSN 2501-8590) is a registered trademark of Open Access Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library. All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms. All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and standards formulated by Budapest Open Access Initiative (2002), the Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing (2003) and  Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities (2003) and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Copyrights of the published research works are retained by authors.


Hit counter