This article explores children's responses to a single question: ‘If someone gave you £1 million today, what would you do with it?’ Although such an exploration might seem trivial, we argue that their responses provide important insights into children's values and priorities. One-third intend to spend it all, one quarter to save it. But the largest group claim that they would give all or some of the money away. Their responses highlight the divergent ways in which children use money to foster particular forms of social relations and social standing. Against the prevalent discourse of consumer society, the dominant theme of giving may indicate that the individualism of neoliberalism is less pervasive than is often feared, but also suggest that further research is needed into the social contexts and processes which encourage children to be ‘givers’, ‘savers’ or ‘spenders’.
Published: June 2015