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PS30129: Children and young people as consumers

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2014/5
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Psychology
Further information on credits Credits: 6
Further information on unit levels Level: Honours (FHEQ level 6)
Further information on teaching periods Period: Semester 2
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: ES 80%, OR 20%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Essay (ES 80%)
  • Oral (OR 20%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment: Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites: Before taking this unit you must take PS20107 and take PS20109
Further information on descriptions Description: Aims:
The aims of the course are as follows:
* To examine the different theoretical perspectives in psychology and other related social sciences on the role of consumption in the lives of children and young people.
* To examine a range of empirical studies on children and young people’s experiences of consumption, in particular the negotiation of child and youth identities, cultural practices and social networks.
* To examine a number of current issues related to child and youth consumption. For example, gender, class and ethnic variations; the global context of child and youth consumption; poverty and ‘marginal consumers’; and the role of consumption in the process of child and youth socialisation.

Learning Outcomes:
On completing this unit students should be able to:
* Compare and contrast different theoretical perspectives on child and youth consumption in psychology and related social sciences
* Critically evaluate these different theoretical perspectives
* Critically evaluate the evidence from empirical research on child and youth consumption
* Assess the implications of academic theories and research on child and youth consumption for debates in the popular domain: eg. on ‘pester power’, the commercialisation of childhood and the sexualisation of girls.

The student:
* demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the topics focused on in this unit. (T/F A)
* has detailed knowledge of some specialised areas and/or applications, some of which are at the cutting edge of research in the area. (T/F A)
* is able to select relevant paradigms and research methods for answering particular research questions. (T/F A)
* is able to read and understand empirical journal articles and relate these to existing bodies of knowledge. (T/F A)
* is able to apply theoretical notions to practical problems and phenomena. (T/F A)
* can reason scientifically and take a critical view on arguments and research outcomes. (T/F A)
* is computer literate and is able to retrieve scientific articles from the available databases. (T/F A)
* can solve problems by clarifying questions, considering alternative solutions and evaluating outcomes. (T/F A)
* is able to plan and organise the study activities that are required in this unit, take charge of his or her own learning, and can reflect and evaluate personal strengths and weaknesses for the purpose of future learning. (T/F A)

The following is a brief outline of the topics that will be covered:
1. Theoretical perspectives and historical context: including the invention of child and youth consumers; child and adolescent development and ‘disordered’ consumption; the sociology of childhood and child consumers; the sociology of youth and youth sub-cultural studies; Consumer Culture Theory and the role of marketing; consumption and identity; and theories of late modernity and neoliberal subjectivity.
2. Empirical research on a selection of key issues: including poverty and ‘marginal consumers’; gender, race and class dimensions of child and youth consumption; globalisation and the international context: and ‘style failure’ and the role of consumption in child and youth cultures.
3. Current debates: moral panics and controversies: including ‘pester power’ and the role of consumption in socialisation; the commercialisation of childhood; the sexualisation of girls; health and social policies on children and youth consumption of food, alcohol and illegal drugs.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

PS30129 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Education
  • UHED-AFB04 : BA(Hons) Childhood, Youth and Education Studies (Year 3)
  • UHED-AKB04 : BA(Hons) Childhood, Youth and Education Studies with Professional Placement (Year 4)

PS30129 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Psychology
* This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2014/15 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2015/16 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2014/15.
* Programmes and units are subject to change at any time, in accordance with normal University procedures.
* Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.