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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Business and Management.

Publication Details

Accepted for Advances in Consumer Research Volume 38


Using the anthropological theory of liminality as a lens of analysis, the following paper outlines specific elements of a research project exploring the consumer culture of a liminal group – tweens. The lived experience of a tween is explored using a multi-method approach incorporating 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 an important 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.


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