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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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Youth Fetishism: The Lost Boys Cruise Mallworld

Youth Fetishism: The Lost Boys Cruise Mallworld

(p.26) One Youth Fetishism: The Lost Boys Cruise Mallworld
Consuming Youth

Rob Latham

University of Chicago Press

This chapter presents a more detailed critique of the monolithically negative view of consumption characteristic of Jean Baudrillard. It also explores the popular Fordist construction of “consuming youth.” Youth culture becomes a prominent site of advertisement's social hegemony. It then proposes to deploy, dialectically, both metaphors of vampiric consumption — one foregrounding a controlling system, the other a voluntaristic self-fashioning — in the analysis of youth-culture vampire texts. It introduces Somtow Sucharitkul's science fiction novel Mallworld. This novel potently demonstrates the three meanings of consuming youth. Karl Marx's dialectical image of the vampire-cyborg remains a more compelling metaphor for youth consumption than either the vampire or the cyborg considered by themselves. Vampire Junction and The Lost Boys capture and express the dialectical dynamic of youth consumption.

Keywords:   youth culture, Jean Baudrillard, social hegemony, Somtow Sucharitkul, Mallworld, vampire, cyborg, Vampire Junction, The Lost Boys, Karl Marx

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