Safety for small fry children and safety in consumer culture
1 / 27

Safety for Small Fry: children and safety in Consumer Culture - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

Safety for Small Fry: children and safety in Consumer Culture. Dr Lydia Martens, Keele University Changing Parenting Cultures Seminar – Child-Rearing in a Risk Society . Introduction.

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'Safety for Small Fry: children and safety in Consumer Culture' - Sharon_Dale

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
Safety for small fry children and safety in consumer culture l.jpg

Safety for Small Fry: children and safety in Consumer Culture

Dr Lydia Martens, Keele University

Changing Parenting Cultures Seminar –

Child-Rearing in a Risk Society

Introduction l.jpg

  • Part of a larger writing project, examining consumer contexts around early parenting and very young children (foetuses, babies, toddlers)

  • See also details of ESRC seminar series on Motherhoods, Markets and Consumption seminar series @

Introduction3 l.jpg

  • Critique of concentrating on older, agentive child consumer & primacy of child-market(ing) relationship (Martens 2005)

  • Understanding ‘what happens before’ children become agentive consumers & the significance of family and familial relationships (Martens et al. 2004)

  • How are categories of ‘adult/new parent’ and ‘child/baby’ in this life course phase constituted? (Martens 2008/2010)

  • Here examined in relation to children and their safety

Overview l.jpg

  • Some theoretical reflections

  • The Baby Show as a commercial “community of parenthood”

  • Analysis of safety as a dimension in young children’s consumer culture

  • Safety and the constitution of the new parent in relation to the young child

Theoretical reflections l.jpg
Theoretical reflections

  • Childhood and Parenthood

  • Childhood, risks and safety

  • Contemporary Consumer Culture

  • Public - private

  • Surveillance

The uk baby show l.jpg
The (UK) Baby Show

  • Consumer exhibition targeted at prospective and new parents, their family and friends

  • Brings together small and large commercial players & is organised by Clarion Events since 2002

  • In 2008 it took place in 5 different locations & times in the year

  • Offers visitors a range of experiences & services on their ‘day out’.

The baby show fieldwork l.jpg
The Baby Show Fieldwork

  • Visiting since 2005

  • Mixture of observation, discussions with exhibitors & visitors (people with bumps), being a ‘visitor’ and ‘exhibitor’, photography, autobiographical dimension

  • Themed visits – safety, food and orality, information & education

  • Why is The Show such an interesting ethnographic research site?

A commercial community of parenthood l.jpg
A Commercial “Community of Parenthood”

  • Prospective and new parents come together

  • Creating a commercial ‘club’ spirit

  • The Baby Show as an information conduit

Safety in early childhood l.jpg
Safety in early childhood

Age demarcations are strong – something for every stage of pregnancy to childhood:

  • Pre-birth e.g. Pregnacare, scanning, bump belt

  • Birth e.g. Stem cell storage ‘product’

  • Pre-mobility e.g. Sterilising, infant breathing monitors

  • Mobility and space – moving from private to public gadgets

     Shift from ‘health maintenance’ to ‘mobility’ devices

Classifying product safety l.jpg
Classifying product ‘safety’

  • Child safety product

  • Child safety conscious product

  • Child safety advice product

Safety product complexities l.jpg
Safety product complexities

  • Child safety products are not necessarily child safety conscious!

  • Danger multiplication through ‘awareness’ and product innovation drives

  • Trust me, but do not trust me completely!

Slide23 l.jpg

“What is a child? A child is something that gets under your feet and into cupboards, something that explores the secret corners behind the washing-machine and knows that switches make machines work. A child is never quite high enough for its own objectives – it climbs, and pulls, and stretches until it can see over the edge of the kitchen table, grab the biscuits on the dresser, and finally reach the high-hanging key to the garden shed. Every age in childhood is an age of experiment and exploration. A child is unaware of danger … and you have no eyes in the back of your head.”

(Good Housekeeping magazine, September 1961 (special on Kitchen’s Today) page 40)

Slide24 l.jpg

“Once your child becomes mobile, home safety becomes a critical issue. It's amazing what a crawling baby, an active toddler or a curious child can do in a split second. It is best to start thinking about making your home really safe even before your baby starts to crawl. There are some danger points which will be obvious to you such as stairs, low windows, open fires and hot cookers. But it's easy for grown-ups to overlook other risks like table corners, slamming doors and electric sockets, which can be the cause of minor, and sometimes serious, accidents. While there is a lot you can do to make your home a safer place, you still need to be on your guard at all times.” (Mothercare website 2005)

Slide25 l.jpg

‘At Mothercare we have a range of products designed to help keep your baby and toddler safe.’

But…’trust me but do not trust me completely’ ..

Conclusion commercial constructions l.jpg
Conclusion: help keep your baby and toddler safe.’ commercial constructions

  • Young child as precious and unpredictable

  • New parent as vigilant and risk-averse