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How did those children respond to this marginalization?
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Essay #5, Class Dreams and Alternative Means
In the book Purchasing Power, anthropologist Elizabeth Chin asks how the children she studied understood their position in American social stratification through consumption. Their poverty and marginalization limited their access to consumer goods, and therefore their access to the modes of identity and expression through which American recognition is produced. How did those children respond to this marginalization? Note that fantasy and pleasure were key features of the responses she found, some of which were in direct contradiction of dominant descriptions of children like them.
In your 750-word essay, answer this question using the theoretical perspectives about consumption (distinction, cultural capital) and inequality which Chin uses. In your essay, give specific examples from the book, including the names of the people involved in the examples you share.