In this article, Dr Roy Huijsmans investigates 'Age-based marketing practices and young people as economic actors in the mobile telephony market in provincial Vietnam’
The article draws on research in urban and rural locations in Quang Tri province, central Vietnam. It captures the historical moment in which mobile phone use quickly became a mass experience among young people.
The article argues that in a rapidly saturating market for mobile phone subscriptions, it is children and youth who come to constitute a perpetual demographic market frontier. Mobile services-providing companies target children and youth through age-based marketing practices rolled out in schools and reflecting Vietnam’s education system. Commercial actors thereby shape Vietnamese childhoods and youth.
However, drawing on mobile phone history interviews, the article show that young people’s navigation of the heavily commercialized mobile media landscape is also embedded in sets of social relations that cannot be reduced to commercial forces.
The article is published open access in the Universitas Indonesia hosted journal Makara Human Behavior Studies in Asia.