The Business of Child Caring

  • Lydia MartensEmail author
Part of the Studies in Childhood and Youth book series (SCY)


This chapter presents an introduction to the business of child caring. Using the consumer exhibition as example, I offer an analysis of seller-buyer interactions and on how this business is organised. The reader joins me on a day out at The Baby Show to become familiar with some of the main components that make up the consumer exhibition. Along the way, we listen to visitors’ reflections on their day out, their reasons for attending The Show, and their shopping practices. Drawing on product leaflets and website content, I provide an analysis of the ‘product content’ of childcare. I identify six pathways of child caring and argue that each of these pathways is supported by the teleoaffective structure of this practice, bringing together four main qualities of the young child: those of loveable, vulnerable, pure and the ‘need’ for nurturing. In the final part of this chapter, I provide an analysis of the spatial and material organisation of exhibitions, and consider how these organise the interactions between exhibitors and visitors. It is argued that the larger companies organise their exhibitions in ways where face-to-face interaction is minimal. In the conclusion, I argue that the main organisational components of the consumer exhibition are shared across different market environments.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Keele UniversityNewcastleUK

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