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Direttore Responsabile: Giulia Golo

Becoming Consumers: Socialization into the World of Goods

TitleBecoming Consumers: Socialization into the World of Goods
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsSetiffi F
Date Published10/2014
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2035-4983
Keywordschildhood, consumer culture, consumer socialization, identity

The following article examines consumer socialization from a sociological perspective. Recent sociological scholarship on both childhood and consumption has dedicated little attention to investigating the process by which norms and values are internalized through consumer culture. However, the growth of the international market for children’s products and the intensification of marketing and advertising campaigns which targeting both male and female children - like the daily practices transmitted through the family and school that teach children consumption habits - require us to reflect on consumption’s pervasive influence on the identity construction of children, on their way to becoming consumer-subjects. Today, advertising addresses above all the individual subject. This is true with regard to the worlds of both adults and children. In the process of consumer socialization, the related practices, norms and behavioral models become interwoven with the culture of a society transmitted through the implicit and explicit messages of advertising. The identity of the individual is formed through a process of socialization in which cultural representations are transmitted. This includes cultural representations from consumer culture that are then reinterpreted by one’s family, school, peer group, and the mass media. Although a subject never stops learning and adapting in their lifetime, the following article focuses above all on childhood: a crucial phase in the cognitive and moral development of the individual in which the family and the school play a critical role in the transmission of values from one generation to the next.