New Parents and Young Children


New Parents and Young Children in Consumer Culture, Special issue of Young Consumers, Edited by Mary Jane Kehily and Lydia Martens; Deadline 27 Apr 2012

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New Parents and Young Children in Consumer Culture
A Special Issue of Young Consumers

Guest editors Mary Jane Kehily and Lydia Martens
The Open University and Keele University

Call for papers

Becoming a parent beckons individuals into an ever expanding consumer world of specialist goods and niche marketing, providing products for every stage of the experience. The Special Issue will profile recent research exploring the domain of consumer culture, materiality and consumption practices of new parents and parents to be. Pregnancy, birth and early parenthood can be charted as a dynamic stretch of the commodity frontier. The intensification of commercial practices surrounding pregnancy and birth can be seen as a key change in the way parenthood is lived and experienced in contemporary times. It concomitantly signals a change in the relationship between the private and the public, with the latter seeing a merging of commercial and medical forces with consequences for the ways in which parenthood and early childhood are construed and perceived. The commercial world appears omnipresent in the lives of new parents, particularly mothers, inviting them to buy their way into a maternal identity whilst simultaneously positioning them in relation to the universally available offerings of consumer culture.

This Special Issue of Young Consumers will be based on recent work across the social sciences, in for example, psychology, sociology and cultural studies. Papers will reflect the diversity of consumption practices and parenting styles. From the routine purchase of baby products to decorating nurseries and collecting exclusive artefacts, the Special Issue will examine the ‘work’ of commodities in preparation for parenthood. Papers may also discuss the expansion of the commercial sphere into areas once considered the preserve of the medical or the family. The commodification of ante-natal ultrasound scanning and stem cell storage for example, present parents with new frontiers for spending, caring and creativity. Consideration may be given to non participation in the market and ways of understanding anti-consumerism. Additionally, it may be productive to ask where the extent and limits of the market lie in relation to new parenthood. Is it bounded by the needs of the newborn or does it extend to housing, childcare and education for example? If this is the case then parenting can be examined as a politically important project in which relations with the market and the state are reconfigured.

We are keen to profile national and international perspectives, including the work of doctoral students and early career researchers. All papers will be peer refereed. Submissions to Young Consumers are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts, the online submission and peer review system. Registration and access is available at . Full information and guidance on using ScholarOne Manuscripts is available at the Emerald ScholarOne Manuscripts Support Centre: When submitting to the journal, please ensure you select to submit to the ‘New parents and young children in consumer culture’ special issue and not a regular issue of Young Consumers.


Final closing date for initial submissions – 27th April 2012
Revisions and resubmissions – May – October 2012
Submission of final papers – 1st November 2012
Expected Publication – 2013

Queries please contact Mary Jane or Lydia: Email: or