Youth and Consumption

Paolo Capuzzo

in The Oxford Handbook of the History of Consumption

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199561216
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191744099 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

 Youth and Consumption

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The kaleidoscope of social identity is defined by multiple forces of signification. Gender, ethnicity, and class trace porous borders of the social and symbolic space within which consumption practices unfold, changing, forcing, and sometimes even subverting the apparent fixity of those spaces. The transition from childhood to adulthood is marked by clear biological changes that affect the conduct of life and the ways in which to confront a series of phases in the form of the transformation and maturation of the body. The analysis of consumption practices can be useful in showing how young people define themselves. As part of a discussion on youth and consumption, this article focuses on cultures of consumption among young workers. It also discusses the social deviance and consumer behaviour of young people, the impact of advertising on the social representation of the youth body, films and fantasies, and the emergence of a youth mass market.

Keywords: youth; consumption; mass market; young workers; social deviance; consumer behaviour; films; advertising; body

Article.  8636 words. 

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