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Commodification of Childhood : The Children's Clothing Industry and the Rise of the Child Consumer - 04 edition

Commodification of Childhood : The Children`s Clothing Industry and the Rise of the Child Consumer (ISBN10: 082233268X; ISBN13: 9780822332688)
ISBN13: 978-0822332688
ISBN10: 082233268X

This edition has also been released as:
ISBN13: 978-0822332794
ISBN10: 0822332795

Summary: In this revealing social history, Daniel Thomas Cook explores the roots of children's consumer culture--and the cormmodification of childhood itself--by looking at the rise, growth, and segmentation of the children's clothing industry. Cook describes how, in the early twentieth century, merchants, manufacturers, and advertisers of children's clothing began to aim commercial messages at the child rather than the mother. Cook situates this fundamental shift in perspective within the br
oader transformation of the child into a legitimate, individualized, self-contained consumer. ''The Commodification of Childhood begins with the publication of the children's wear industry's first trade journal, ''The Infants' Department, in 1917 and extends into the early 1960s, by which time the changes Cook chronicles were largely complete. Analyzing the pages of trade journals. Cook shows how the industry created a market by developing and promulgating new understandings of the ''nature,'' needs, and motivations of the child consumer. He discusses various ways that discursive constructions of the consuming child were made material: in the creation of separate children's clothing departments, in their segmentation and layout by age and gender gradations (such as infant, toddler, boys, girls, tweens, and teens), in merchants' treatment of children as individuals on the retail floor, and in displays designed to appeal directly to children. Ultimately, ''The Commodification of Childhood provides a compelling argument that any consideration of ''the child'' must necessarily take into account how childhood came to be understood through, and structured by, a market idiom.
...show more
Summary: In this revealing social history, Daniel Thomas Cook explores the roots of children's consumer culture--and the cormmodification of childhood itself--by looking at the rise, growth, and segmentation of the children's clothing industry. Cook describes how, in the early twentieth century, merchants, manufacturers, and advertisers of children's clothing began to aim commercial messages at the child rather than the mother. Cook situates this fundamental shift in perspective within the broader transformation of the child into a legitimate, individualized, self-contained consumer. ''The Commodification of Childhood begins with the publication of the children's wear industry's first trade journal, ''The Infants' Department, in 1917 and extends into the early 1960s, by which time the changes Cook chronicles were largely complete. Analyzing the pages of trade journals. Cook shows how the industry created a market by developing and promulgating new understandings of the ''nature,'' needs, and motivations of the child consumer. He discusses various ways that discursive constructions of the consuming child were made material: in the creation of separate children's clothing departments, in their segmentation and layout by age and gender gradations (such as infant, toddler, boys, girls, tweens, and teens), in merchants' treatment of children as individuals on the retail floor, and in displays designed to appeal directly to children. Ultimately, ''The Commodification of Childhood provides a compelling argument that any consideration of ''the child'' must necessarily take into account how childhood came to be understood through, and structured by, a market idiom. ...show less

Edition/Copyright: 04
Cover: Paperback
Publisher: Duke University Press
Year Published: 2004
International: No

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