Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy




Dr. June Cotte


In this thesis, I present an interpretive study of family members’ experiences consuming market-offered care or intimacy services for themselves or other family members. Included herein is a series of three essays that explores the phenomenon of outsourcing care and intimacy to the marketplace across three distinct contexts: mothers consuming childcare for their infants; adult siblings and their elderly parents choosing and using commercial elder care; and adult males consuming commercial sex and romance. The purpose is to develop a deep understanding of consumers’ experiences as they engage with the marketplace to consume care and intimacy, and to demonstrate that this understanding forms the basis for theoretical developments in consumer research. This program of research stands to advance our understanding of consumption by linking theoretical conversations related to family consumption, social issues, and cultural influences on consumer behaviour.

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