Consumption is central battleground in public debates over morality, excess and gendered responsibility. These contests are particularly critical for contemporary families in Western nations, where excesses of goods, the paucity of time, and changing relational structures are altering family life.
Families have always been key sites for consumption and in recent decades, contests over childhood obesity, the sexualisation of children, the media practices of children and teenagers, and young people’s use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs have dominated media and public policy discussions of family life in Western nations. Issues of responsibility, parental control and children and young people as active agents in a consumer world are central in the social policy, educational and health realms.
Each of the chapters in the book addresses a key social issue on consumption and the making of family life in the 21st Century.