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

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9 Citations (Scopus)
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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
Issue number4
Early online date16 Sept 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019

Bibliographical note

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  • 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


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