Document Type

Conference Paper

Rights

This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only

Disciplines

Sociology

Publication Details

Conference paper presented at Child and Teen Consumption, Linkopping University, Sweden

Abstract

This paper derives from a broader study of children’s consumer culture, specifically an investigation into how preschoolers employ commercial discourses as the building blocks of social selves and relations. Age-based repertoires are found to colour the various discourses produced. ‘Age’ is conceptualised as something that is made sense of for and by children through their utilisation of toys, media, consumables and other commercial artefacts. The ‘choosing child’ is addressed in empirical terms to reveal the social significance of ‘doing’ consumption related evaluations in the focus group setting. A CA-informed discourse analytic approach is utilised to focus on one aspect of ‘doing’ age in focus group talk, that is, the way in which age is employed as an accounting device for the evaluation of ‘Teletubbies’, a BBC television programme aimed at very young children, as illustrated in one closely transcribed ‘assessment sequence’. ‘Doing’ consumption evaluations proved complex in this setting; while age-based selves were established in-situ, meanings around ‘Teletubbies’, specifically the age at which it is acceptable to like and or watch it remain unresolved, rendering its social currency as an age-defining product somewhat in flux.

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