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Available Expert - Back-to-school shopping

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Queen's University business expert Tandy Thomas is available to comment on back-to-school shopping, the conflict between the “what’s cool” with “what’s affordable” and the marketing of back-to-school products.

“Back-to-school is a complex time for families and marketers," says Dr. Thomas. "From a practical perspective, stuff needs to be purchased and huge amounts of money are spent getting students set up for the new year. This can often lead to struggles between parents and children about what is needed vs. wanted, and with parents and students struggling to find the balance between practical frugality and presumed social inclusion.

Dr. Thomas says that, while the season presents a number of challenges for parents and students alike, it also presents new opportunities for growth and development

"At the same time, this is also time of renewal, hope, possibility, new beginnings, and, for some, the start of a new chapter in life. Taken together, this makes back-to-school, and the marketing/advertising that goes along with it, an intricate combination of exciting life experiences, rituals, tensions, and commerce merged into one,” she adds.

Dr. Tandy Thomas is an assistant professor at the Smith School of Business at Queen's University. Her research interests lie at the intersection of consumer culture theory and social psychology. 

To arrange an interview, please contact communications officer Chris Armes (613-533-6000 ext. 77513 or chris.armes@queensu.ca) or Anne Craig (613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca) at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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