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Consuming YouthVampires, Cyborgs, and the Culture of Consumption$
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Robert Latham

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780226468914

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226467023.001.0001

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Introduction The Cybernetic Vampire of Consumer Youth Culture

Introduction The Cybernetic Vampire of Consumer Youth Culture

(p.1) Introduction The Cybernetic Vampire of Consumer Youth Culture
Consuming Youth

Rob Latham

University of Chicago Press

This chapter presents an examination of what vampires and cyborgs have to say about consumption generally, and then proceeds to their mobilization specifically within contemporary youth culture. The vampire and the cyborg share a genealogy that transcends their seemingly fortuitous convergence in contemporary cultural theory. The chapter provides an interrogation of the early work of Jean Baudrillard, arguing that his rejection of dialectics is premature and, consequently, his account of the code is too abstractly totalizing. A dialectical construction of the image of the vampire-cyborg is significant, since it allows for a sense of the contradictory promises and dangers inherent in consumption as a mode of social integration and personal expression. “Youth” made a set of values desirable both as the means of production and the end of consumption. It was also implicitly a cyborg identity. An overview of the chapters included in this book is given.

Keywords:   vampires, cyborgs, youth culture, Jean Baudrillard, contemporary cultural theory, dialectical construction

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