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date: 23 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article critically reflects upon the key role that young people continue to play in social scientific critiques of consumption. After a discussion of the historical development of youth consumption, it is argued that the combined impacts of economic global downturn and technological change have constructed a particular set of conditions within which the nature of youth consumption is changing. The particular experience of online consumption, notably through the use of social media, has thus constructed a situation in which young people not only use consumption as a means of constructing a sense of social stability but also ultimately they, or “manufactured” versions of them, become the product of this process. The chapter thus calls for a pan-disciplinary approach to youth consumption that will help us to reattune our understanding of what it means to be a young consumer in a world of constant change, uncertainty, and self-doubt.

Keywords: young people, economic downturn, risk society, youth culture, identity, prosumption, lifestyle, technology, digital consumption

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