Youth Fetishism: The Lost Boys Cruise Mallworld

Rob Latham

in Consuming Youth

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2002 | ISBN: 9780226468914
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226467023 | DOI:
Youth Fetishism: The Lost Boys Cruise Mallworld

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This chapter presents a more detailed critique of the monolithically negative view of consumption characteristic of Jean Baudrillard. It also explores the popular Fordist construction of “consuming youth.” Youth culture becomes a prominent site of advertisement's social hegemony. It then proposes to deploy, dialectically, both metaphors of vampiric consumption — one foregrounding a controlling system, the other a voluntaristic self-fashioning — in the analysis of youth-culture vampire texts. It introduces Somtow Sucharitkul's science fiction novel Mallworld. This novel potently demonstrates the three meanings of consuming youth. Karl Marx's dialectical image of the vampire-cyborg remains a more compelling metaphor for youth consumption than either the vampire or the cyborg considered by themselves. Vampire Junction and The Lost Boys capture and express the dialectical dynamic of youth consumption.

Keywords: youth culture; Jean Baudrillard; social hegemony; Somtow Sucharitkul; Mallworld; vampire; cyborg; Vampire Junction; The Lost Boys; Karl Marx

Chapter.  18274 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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