Part of the Studies in Childhood and Youth book series (SCY)


In the Introduction to Childhood and Markets, I provide a rationale for the focus on young children, parents and the business of child caring. Scholarship on children, childhood and consumer culture has not shown much interest in the youngest of children; toddlers, babies, and even those yet to be born. Here, I present an argument for why it is important to do so. Focussing on the practice of child caring, I argue, not only enables theoretical innovation, but also offers tools for attending to the complex interconnections and cultural work that bring the value of a range of commodities in line with the value of children. The final section provides an overview of the book’s content.


Consumer Culture Child Consumer Teleoaffective Structures adultsAdults Sentimental View 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. AbiGhannam, N., and L. Atkinson. 2016. Good green mothers consuming their way through pregnancy: Roles of environmental identities and information seeking in coping with the transition. Consumption Markets & Culture 19 (5): 451–474.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Afflerback, S., A.K. Anthony, S.K. Carter, and L. Grauerholz. 2014. Consumption rituals in the transition to motherhood. Gender Issues 31 (1): 1–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Alexander, V.D. 1994. The image of children in magazine advertisements from 1905 to 1990. Communication Research 21 (6): 742–765.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barnes, M.W. 2015. Fetal sex determination and gendered prenatal consumption. Journal of Consumer Culture 15 (3): 371–390.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Barnett, C., P. Cloke, N. Clarke, and A. Malpass. 2005. Consuming ethics: Articulating the subjects and spaces of ethical consumption. Antipode 37 (1): 23–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Boyer, K., and J. Spinney. 2016. Motherhood, mobility and materiality: Material entanglements, journey-making and the process of ‘becoming mother’. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 34 (60): 1113–1131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brownlie, J., and V. Leith. 2011. Social bundles: Thinking through the infant body. Childhood 18 (2): 196–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Buckingham, D. 2009. The impact of the commercial world on children’s well-being. Independent assessment for the department of children, schools and families and culture, media and sport. Available at
  9. Buckingham, D. 2011. The material child. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  10. Buckingham, D., and V. Tingstad (eds.). 2010. Childhood and consumer culture. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  11. Burningham, K., S. Venn, I. Christie, T. Jackson, and B. Gatersleben. 2014. New motherhood: A moment of change in everyday shopping practices? Young Consumers 15 (3): 211–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cairns, K., J. Johnston, and N. MacKendrick. 2013. Feeding the ‘organic child’: Mothering through ethical consumption. Journal of Consumer Culture 13(2): 97–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Charles, N., and A. Kerr. 1988. Women, food and families. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  14. Chin, E. 2001. Purchasing power: Black kids and American consumer culture. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  15. Clarke, A. 2004. Maternity and materiality: Becoming a mother in consumer culture. In Consuming motherhood, ed. J.S. Taylor, L.L. Layne, and D.F. Wozniak, 55–71. Rutgers, NJ: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Cook, D.T. 1995. The mother as consumer: Insights from the children’s wear industry, 1917–1929. The Sociological Quarterly 36 (3): 505–522.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Cook, D.T. 2000. The rise of ‘the toddler’ as subject and as merchandising category in the 1930s. In New forms of consumption. Consumers, culture, and commodification, ed. M. Gottdiener, 111–130. Lanham, MD: Rowland and Littlefield.Google Scholar
  18. Cook, D.T. 2004. The Commodification of childhood: The children’s clothing industry and the rise of the child consumer. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Cook, D.T. 2005. The dichotomous child in and of commercial culture. Childhood: A Global Journal of Child Research 12 (2): 155–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Cook, D.T. 2008. The missing child in consumption theory. Journal of Consumer Culture 8 (2): 219–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Cook, D.T. 2012. Pricing the priceless child—A wonderful problematic. In Situating child consumption: Rethinking values and notions of children, childhood and consumption, ed. A. Sparrman, B. Sandin, and J. Sjöberg, 53–60. Lund: Nordic Academic Press.Google Scholar
  22. Cook, D.T., and S. Kaiser. 2004. Betwixt and between: Age ambiguity and the sexualization of the female consuming subject. Journal of Consumer Culture 4 (2): 203–227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Cross, G. 1998. Kids’ Stuff: Toys and the changing world of American childhood. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Cross, G. 2002. Valves of desire: A historian’s perspective on parents, children, and marketing. Journal of Consumer Research 29 (3): 441–447.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Cross, G. 2004a. Wondrous innocence print advertising and the origins of permissive child rearing in the US. Journal of Consumer Culture 4 (2): 183–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Cross, G. 2004b. The cute and the cool: Wondrous innocence and modern American children’s culture. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. DeVault, M. 1991. Feeding the family. Chicago: Chicago University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Freeman, O. 2009. “The Coke side of life”—An exploration of pre-schoolers’ constructions of product and selves through talk-in-interaction around Coca-Cola. Young Consumers 10 (4): 314–328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Freeman, O. 2012. I do like them but I don’t watch them. In Situating child consumption: Rethinking values and notions of children, childhood and consumption, ed. A. Sparrman, B. Sandin, and J. Sjöberg, 157–176. Lund: Nordic Academic Press.Google Scholar
  30. Fuentes, M., and H. Brembeck. 2016. Best for baby? Framing weaning practice and motherhood in web-mediated marketing. Consumption Markets & Culture 20 (2): 153–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kehily, M.J. 2014. For the love of small things: Consumerism and the making of maternal identities. Young Consumers 15 (3): 227–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kenway, J., and J. Bullen. 2001. Consuming children: Education-entertainment-advertising. Maidenhead/Philadelphia: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Lim, S.M.Y. 2015. Early childhood care and education in a consumer society: Questioning the child–adult binary and childhood inequality. Global Studies of Childhood 5 (3): 305–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Martens, L. 2005. Learning to consume—Consuming to learn: Children at the interface between consumption and education. British Journal of Sociology of Education 26 (3): 343–357.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Martens, L. 2009. Creating the ethical parent-consumer subject: Commerce, moralities and pedagogies in early parenthood. In Critical pedagogies of consumption: Living and learning in the shadow of the “shopocalypse”, ed. J.A. Sandlin and P. McLaren. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  36. Martens, L. 2010. The cute, the spectacle and the practical: Narratives of new parents and babies at the baby show. In Childhood and consumer culture, ed. D. Buckingham and V. Tingstad. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  37. Martens, L. 2014. Selling infant safety: Entanglements of childhood preciousness, vulnerability and unpredictability. Young Consumers 15 (3): 239–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Martens, L., D. Southerton, and S. Scott. 2004. Bringing children (and parents) into the sociology of consumption: Towards a theoretical and empirical agenda. Journal of Consumer Culture 4 (2): 155–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. McNamee, S., and J. Seymour. 2013. Towards a sociology of 10-12 year olds? Emerging methodological issues in the ‘new’ social studies of childhood. Childhood 12 (2): 156–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Meyer, A. 2007. The moral rhetoric of childhood. Childhood 14 (1): 85–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Miller, D. 1998. A theory of shopping. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  42. Murcott, A. 1993. Purity and pollution: Body management and the social place of infancy. In Body matters: Essays on the sociology of the body, ed. S. Scott and D. Morgan, 122–134. London: Falmer.Google Scholar
  43. Nairn, A., and F. Spotswood. 2015. “Obviously in the cool group they wear designer things”: A social practice theory perspective on children’s consumption. European Journal of Marketing 49 (9/10): 1460–1483.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. O’Donohoe, S., M. Hogg, P. Maclaran, L. Martens, and L. Stevens (eds.). 2013. Motherhoods, markets and consumption: The making of mothers in contemporary western cultures. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  45. Plowman, L., J. McPake, and C. Stephen. 2010. The technologisation of childhood? Young children and technology in the home. Children and Society 24 (1): 63–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Ponsford, R. 2014. “I don’t really care about me, as long as he gets everything he needs”—Young women becoming mothers in consumer culture. Young Consumers 15 (3): 251–262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Pugh, A.J. 2009. Longing and belonging: Parents, children, and consumer culture. California: University of California Press. Google Scholar
  48. Quirke, L. 2006. “Keeping young minds sharp”: Children’s cognitive stimulation and the rise of parenting magazines, 1959–2003. Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology 43 (4): 387–406.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Saltmarsh, S. 2009. Becoming economic subjects: Agency, consumption and popular culture in early childhood. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education 30 (1): 47–59.Google Scholar
  50. Sandin, B. 2012. More children or better quality: Pricing the child in the welfare state. In Situating child consumption: Rethinking values and notions of children, childhood and consumption, ed. A. Sparrman, B. Sandin, and J. Sjöberg, 61–70. Lund: Nordic Academic Press.Google Scholar
  51. Schatzki, T. 1996. Social practices: A Wittgensteinian approach to human activity and the social. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Schatzki, T. 2002. The site of the social: A philosophical account of the constitution of social life and change. Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University Press.Google Scholar
  53. Sjöberg, J. 2013. In the eye of the market: Children and visual consumption. Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press.Google Scholar
  54. Sparrman, A., and B. Sandin. 2012. Situated child consumption: Introduction. In Situating child consumption: Rethinking values and notions of children, childhood and consumption, ed. A. Sparrman, B. Sandin, and J. Sjöberg, 9–32. Lund: Nordic Academic Press.Google Scholar
  55. Sparrman, A., B. Sandin, and J. Sjöberg (eds.). 2012. Situating child consumption: Rethinking values and notions of children, childhood and consumption. Lund: Nordic Academic Press.Google Scholar
  56. Takahashi, M. 2015. Young children and consumer media cultures in Japan: Mothering, peer relationships, social identities and consumption practices. Doctoral thesis, Norwegian Centre for Child Research (NOSEB), Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim. Accessed online at
  57. Taylor, A. 2011. Reconceptualising the ‘Nature’ of childhood. Childhood 18 (4): 420–433.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Taylor, A. 2013. Reconfiguring the natures of childhood. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  59. Taylor, J.S., L. Layne, and D.F. Wozniak. 2004. Consuming motherhood. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  60. Theodorou, E., and S. Spyrou. 2013. Motherhood in utero: Consuming away anxiety. Journal of Consumer Culture 13 (2): 79–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Thomas, S.G. 2007. Buy, buy baby: How big business captures the ultimate consumer—Your baby or toddler. London: Harper Collins Publishers.Google Scholar
  62. Thomas, G.M. 2017. Picture perfect: ‘4D’ ultrasound and the commoditisation of the private prenatal clinic. Journal of Consumer Culture 17 (2): 359–377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Thorne, B. 1993. Gender play: Girls and boys in school. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  64. Wall, G. 2005. Is your child’s brain potential maximized? Mothering in an age of new brain research. Atlantis 28 (2): 41–50.Google Scholar
  65. Warde, A. 2014. After Taste: Culture, Consumption and Theories of Practices. Journal of Consumer Culture 14(3): 279–303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Woolgar, S. 2012. Ontological child consumption. In Situating child consumption: Rethinking values and notions of children, childhood and consumption, ed. A. Sparrman, B. Sandin, and J. Sjöberg, 33–52. Lund: Nordic Academic Press.Google Scholar
  67. Zelizer, V.A.R. 1985. Pricing the priceless child: The changing social value of children. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Keele UniversityNewcastleUK

Personalised recommendations