Mother, consumer, trader: Gendering the commodification of second-hand economies since the recession

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

In Western contexts, ‘hand-me-down’ and sharing economies of children’s clothes, toys and equipment remain one of the most normalised cultures of second-hand consumption. This article explores the strategies used by mothers to realise the most economic value from these economies in current austere times with the increased possibilities offered by the democratisation of informal buying and selling spaces. Drawing on an ethnographic study of mothers participating in nearly new sales in the United Kingdom, the article outlines the myriad moralities influencing mothers’ everyday consumption, use and disposal of children’s goods. It argues that providing material goods for children is a thrifty skill with mothers thinking past point-of-purchase to the resale potential of second-hand items. This strategy of trading used children’s goods as a practice to circulate resources in the family and keep up with the commodification of childhood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)532-550
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Consumer Culture
Volume19
Issue number4
Early online date16 Sep 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019

Fingerprint

Commodification
recession
Hand
Mothers
economy
Play and Playthings
Clothing
toy
economic value
selling
morality
democratization
sales
purchase
childhood
Economics
Equipment and Supplies
Recession
Economy
Traders

Bibliographical note

Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.

Keywords

  • Parenting
  • domestic consumption
  • domestic labour
  • motherhood
  • thrift

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Social Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing

Cite this

Mother, consumer, trader: Gendering the commodification of second-hand economies since the recession. / Waight, Emma.

In: Journal of Consumer Culture, Vol. 19, No. 4, 01.11.2019, p. 532-550.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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