On the Borderline: Metaconsumption and the Liminal Tween

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. 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, suggesting a divergent theoretical path from the ‘effects’ dominated consumer socialization approach to researching young people and their relationships with consumption. We conclude 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.


Kevina Cody, Katrina Lawlor, and Pauline Maclaran (2011) ,"On the Borderline: Metaconsumption and the Liminal Tween", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9, eds. Alan Bradshaw, Chris Hackley, and Pauline Maclaran, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 385-393.


Kevina Cody, Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland
Katrina Lawlor, Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland
Pauline Maclaran, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK


E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9 | 2011

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