Research Output

Rituals in children's cultures of consumption.

  Consumption in children’s cultures is a much debated topic. Yet, few attempts have been
made to understand consumer culture from children’s own perspective, to investigate the
positive aspects of children’s relationships with consumer goods, and/or to examine how the
meanings attached to goods are negotiated, played out and shaped in children’s diverse
cultures. This paper addresses this gap by employing data from informal interviews and
participant observation to discuss children’s experiences of consumer cultures. The paper is
based on data from a year-long ethnographic study of children (aged 3-5, 7/8 and 10/11)
from two contrasting areas in one region of Scotland (one relatively affluent area and one
relatively deprived area). The ethnographic data highlights the importance of consumption in
children’s cultures. The paper examines consumption rituals, artefacts and symbols within
the context of the different values, beliefs and concerns that children produce and share with
others. It concludes that cultures of consumption impact on children in both divisive and
integrative ways and that more efforts should be made by those that work with and for
children to harness their integrative potential

  • Type:

    Conference Paper (unpublished)

  • Publication Status:


  • Library of Congress:

    HD28 Management. Industrial Management

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    658 General management


Marsden, D. Rituals in children's cultures of consumption.. Paper presented at Childhoods 2005: Children and youth in emerging and transforming societies, Oslo University. (Unpublished)


Ritual; children's culture; consumerism;

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