‘One girl might be popular because she’s pretty, or one boy because he’s sound’

Good looks, sporting prowess, likes on social media – students explain how a teenager gets to be popular

Lucy McCullagh, Nathan Moore, Saoirse Mulvihill and Thomas Wride at Newpark School in Blackrock, Co Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson

Lucy McCullagh, Nathan Moore, Saoirse Mulvihill and Thomas Wride at Newpark School in Blackrock, Co Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson

“Popular, according to the Oxford Dictionary, means: “Liked or admired by many people or by a particular person or group.”

However, “popular” can have other meanings for teenagers, so in addition to surveying 100 Irish girls and boys, aged 12-19 years, we asked some others for an explanatory guide to popularity.

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