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Consumer Socialization

Consumer socialization is the process whereby one acquires the skills to consume, as well as the values associated with being a consumer. This can involve identification with the role of consumer in consumption society or a critical awareness of the problematic nature of being a consumer and of consumption society more generally. The socialization process is not necessarily limited to learning how to buy, but can also include how not to buy, how to limit consumption, or how to shop for a variety of purposes, such as economic value, status and distinction, or ecological sustainability.

In one of the earliest studies, David Riesman and Howard Roseborough distinguished different contexts for socializing children into consumer behavior: home for goal-directed, peers for expressive, and school for adaptive elements ...

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