Call for Papers

At CTC 2020, we invite research and approaches which seek to interrogate the interplay between identity and inequality in child and teen consumption—be it through commercial markets and media, material practices or industry/practitioner efforts. To this end, we pose a number of questions: What kind of “child” is invoked or implied in the development and marketing of goods or technologies? How does young people’s engagement with media and consumer products at once reproduce or contest the logics/values of culture industries? In what ways do young people use the consumer-media tools available to them to enact identities, challenge cultural power, and/or understand and contest their own marginalities?

In the tradition and spirit of CTC, we encourage inter- and cross-disciplinary thinking and research to address these and other issues relevant to child and teen consumption. Contributions from anthropology, consumer research, childhood studies, history, girlhood studies, media studies, American studies, critical race and ethnic studies, literary studies, gender studies, policy, sociology, geography, and psychology—among others—are welcome and have been represented at previous gatherings.



Presentations may examine a variety of topics including, but not limited to:

  • Inequality in virtual worlds: the role of (social) media and digital media literacy
  • Gendered branding and marketing
  • Sustainability, waste, and environmental justice
  • Material cultures of child migration
  • Industry/managerial perspectives on child and teen consumption
  • Advertising and its new interactive forms
  • Mothers, fathers, grandparents: carework and provisioning of media and things
  • Consumption, race/racism, and white supremacy
  • Kids and retail spaces
  • Consumption and health inequalities
  • Food marketing and youth practices: contexts of home, peers and schools
  • Disability, play, and material cultures
  • Dynamics of excess and scarcity
  • Children’s rights and the globalization of commercial activities
  • Poverty and food insecurity

  • Children, consumption and the climate crisis
  • Theorizing inequality in child and teen consumption
  • Historical and social injustices in consumption
  • Children and adolescents as co-producers of consumer cultures
  • Brand strategies and communication within youth industries
  • Youth consumers, ideology and resistance
  • Consumer education: responsibility, ethics, and social justice
  • Market mediators relating to children: design, publicity, packaging, merchandising
  • New methodologies in the study of inequality and consumption
  • Contentions over child well-being and corporate social responsibility
  • Ethics and responsibility vis-a-vis children: companies, researchers, educators, practitioners