Å gi sin daler med glede: Barn som forbrukere i Ungdommens Ven (1770)
Title: To Give One’s Money Willingly. Children as Consumers in Ungdommens Ven (1770)
This article examines the staging of children as consumers in the first Danish children’s magazine Ungdommens Ven (1770). By investigating texts that portray children and their use of pocket money, with an emphasis on texts in which this use is directly linked to the purchasing of the magazine itself, the article argues that the staging of children as consumers may be seen in the context of children’s increasingly important role in the book market and print culture during the second half of the 18th century. Through a discussion of how children appear as readers, consumers, and subscribers in the magazine, the article demonstrates how Ungdommens Ven is educative in at least two interwoven ways. First, by instructing the readers in how to spend one’s money wisely, and second, by inculcating the knowledge of how to be magazine readers as well as purchasers, initiating children into the economic aspects of the specific publication and into consumer culture more generally. Taking one of the early children’s magazines in Denmark as its point of departure, the article identifies some significant changes in print and consumer culture before the emergence of a mass market, accentuating the role of children and their magazines in these developments.
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