Threshold Lives: Exploring the Liminal Consumption of Tweens

Kevina Cody, Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland, UK
Katrina Lawlor, Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland, UK
Pauline Maclaran, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK
The following paper details specific aspects of a research project which explores the consumer culture of a liminal group – tweens, using the anthropological theory of liminality as a lens of analysis. Constructed by child sociologists and historians and reinforced by the marketplace as the epitome of an interstitial existence, the lived experience of a tween is explored using personal diaries, in-depth interviews and accompanied shopping trips. Outcomes of one aspect of this longitudinal research project – the theory of metaconsumption - are presented, concluding that those in a shadowed reality, those social neophytes no longer children but not yet teens engage with consumption practices and spaces particular to those who must exist mid-way between two spheres of identity. Thus this shadowed reality, this socially indiscernible identity belies agentive consumption and active engagement with signifiers of a duality of mediated selves.
[ to cite ]:
Kevina Cody, Katrina Lawlor, and Pauline Maclaran (2010) ,"Threshold Lives: Exploring the Liminal Consumption of Tweens", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 346-351 .