Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Cult

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, Aug 19, 2014 - Social Science - 304 pages
Ads aimed at kids are virtually everywhere -- in classrooms and textbooks, on the Internet, even at slumber parties and the playground. Product placement and other innovations have introduced more subtle advertising to movies and television. Companies are enlisting children as guerrilla marketers, targeting their friends and families. Even trusted social institutions such as the Girl Scouts are teaming up with marketers. Drawing on her own survey research and unprecedented access to the advertising industry, New York Times bestselling author and leading cultural and economic authority Juliet Schor examines how a marketing effort of vast size, scope, and effectiveness has created "commercialized children."

Schor, author of The Overworked American and The Overspent American, looks at the broad implications of this strategy. Sophisticated advertising strategies convince kids that products are necessary to their social survival. Ads affect not just what they want to buy, but who they think they are and how they feel about themselves. Based on long-term analysis, Schor reverses the conventional notion of causality: it's not just that problem kids become overly involved in the values of consumerism; it's that kids who are overly involved in the values of consumerism become problem kids. In this revelatory and crucial book, Schor also provides guidelines for parents and teachers. What is at stake is the emotional and social well-being of our children.

Like Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed, Mary Pipher's Reviving Ophelia, and Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point, Born to Buy is a major contribution to our understanding of a contemporary trend and its effects on the culture.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Devil_llama - LibraryThing

A solid, well-written book exploring consumerist culture and its impact on our children, who are advertised to nearly everywhere they go, and spend very little of their life advertising free. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - quantum_flapdoodle - LibraryThing

A solid, well-written book exploring consumerist culture and its impact on our children, who are advertised to nearly everywhere they go, and spend very little of their life advertising free. Read full review

Contents

Tables and Figures
Introduction
The Changing World of Childrens Consumption
The Content of Commercial
Ads Infiltrate Everyday Life
The Commercialization of Public Schools
The New Intrusive Research
Selling Kids on Junk Food Drugs and Violence
Empowered or Seduced? The Debate About Advertising and Marketing
Beyond Big Bird Bratz Dolls and the Back
Afterword
About the Author
Data Appendix
Notes
References
Index

How Consumer Culture Undermines Childrens WellBeing

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2014)

Juliet B. Schor is the award-winning author of The Overworked American and The Overspent American. A recognized expert on consumerism, economics, and family studies, she teaches at Boston College and lives in Newton, Massachusetts.

Bibliographic information