Marketing the Bite-Size Family: <i>Consuming Images, Supporting Realities</i>

Merry Isaacs White

in Perfectly Japanese

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2002 | ISBN: 9780520217546
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520936591 | DOI:
Marketing the Bite-Size Family: Consuming Images, Supporting Realities

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This chapter brings the gap between the national family and ordinary families into sharp focus through a treatment of the responses of consumer industries, goods, and services to the fractionated realities of family. The consumer democracy today creates identities for individuals, as well as households, but household roles often resemble ill-fitting clothing, and attempts to reoutfit families have not been completely successful: even middle-class families caught up in consumer trends do not find that the one-size-fits-all version of family suits them. Consumption, one of a family's several tasks in service to national goals, may also be an arena for subversion of those goals. The goods and services they purchase are available because they are needed to help ordinary families make do; they do not defend the “beautiful family traditions” policymakers hope to protect.

Keywords: national family; ordinary family; consumer industries; consumption; goods; services

Chapter.  9224 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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