Cook, Daniel Thomas. (2013) “Taking Exception With the Child Consumer.”


ARGUMENT

Sociological studies of childhood tend to ignore, downplay, or otherwise segregate issues relating to children consumption and consumer culture.

SUMMARY

Children are put on a pedestal in Childhood Studies and their involvement in staging mock parliaments or fighting in wars is seen as much more “heroic” than when they hold princess parties or play video games.

Why it is important to study children’s consumption in sociological studies of childhood – consumer goods enact and transform  family and social relationships, it is a way that children participate in the world, it is “adultist” to discount children’s pleasure associated with consumer goods, it is not just a first world problem.

[Accepting the consuming child] complicates agency because sometimes the child is taken and is duped by the promises and insinuations or marketing and publicity, as we all are at some time or another…Acknowledging corporate power makes this child no less a child, no less agentive, no less human than any other” (pg 426).

THEORY/METHOD

This is in the style of a lit review or survey of studies addressing (or not addressing) children’s consumer culture

CRITIQUE

n/a

HOW TO USE

This is an excellent explanation of how to reconcile children’s agency while still acknowledging corporate power (see quote above).

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