Purchasing Power | 1st Edition
Black Kids and American Consumer Culture
AUTHOR: Chin, Elizabeth M.
PUBLISHER: University of Minnesota Press
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To move beyond the stereotypical images of black children obsessed with status symbols, Chin spent two years interviewing poor children in New Haven, Connecticut, about where and how they spend their money. An alternate image of the children emerges, one that puts practicality ahead of status in their purchasing decisions. On a twenty-dollar shopping spree with Chin, one boy has to choose between a walkie-talkie set and an X-Men figure. In one of the most painful moments of her research, Chin watches as Davy struggles with his decision. He finally takes the walkie-talkie set, a toy that might be shared with his younger brother.
Through personal anecdotes and compelling stories ranging from topics such as Christmas and birthday gifts, shopping malls, Toys-R-Us, neighborhood convenience shops, school lunches, ethnically correct toys, and school supplies, Chin critically examines consumption as a medium through which social inequalities -- most notably of race, class, and gender -- are formed, experienced, imposed, and resisted. Along the way she acknowledges the profound constraints under which the poor and working class must struggle in their daily lives.
PUBLICATION DATE: 3/27/2001
CATEGORY: Business & Economics, Social Science