Playing with class: Middle‐class intensive mothering and the consumption of children's toys in Vietnam

Khanh Le-Phuong Nguyen, Vicki Harman, Benedetta Cappellini

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This article explores the way in which Vietnamese mothers purchase, gift and share toys with their children. The study utilises a qualitative design comprising semi-structured interviews with 10 Vietnamese middle-class professional working mothers of children aged between 5 and 9. This research highlights the way in which toys defined as “good” by mothers need to fulfil a number of important practical and social functions: they act as an investment in the child's future, as a reward, and as a means for mothers to buy time for themselves. The findings illustrate how these functions are influenced by Confucian and Western discourses of intensive mothering, generating a localized style of middle-class intensive mothering, characterized by what we have called the ideal of the triple excellent and intensive mother.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449–456
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Consumer Studies
Issue number5
Early online date28 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017

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