Status Reproduction: The Accumulation and Transfer of Cultural Capital in the Household-Retailing Nexus


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Bourdieu (1984) elaborates on social position (status) as being predicated on choices about the allocation of three kinds of resources individuals have access to. Bourdieu terms these resources as capital since individuals hope the three will appreciate in value. These are economic, social and cultural capital. Bourdieu’s work opens the question of how children develop the ability to make aesthetic consumer decisions involving taste, an issue that is under-theorized in the consumer research literature which instead focuses on children’s development of cognitive competence for making rational economic choices. This study examines the relations between parents shopping for toys and retail store owners and employees, and articulates the flows of economic, social and especially cultural capital that occue within that retail context.


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