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Consumerism and Motherhood

  • By: Enola Aird
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Consumption of goods and services constitutes approximately 70 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the United States. Consumerism, with its focus on consumption, has been one of the drivers of the country's economy. In many ways, it has also driven American society and its people. Mothers are no exception. When a woman becomes pregnant, or otherwise prepares to assume the status of mother through adoption or fostering, she becomes the target of advertisers and marketers selling her an ever-growing list of mothering products and services. When the child arrives, the targeting continues, expands to include the new addition, and follows them both through every stage of their lives. A steady stream of advertisements sends the message that there is a long and constantly ...

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