“Juliet Shor's Born to Buy examined the commercialization of childhood. After providing a history, an overview of the tactics, and an examination the consequences, Shor argues -- pleads, as a parent -- for regulation and taxation to reign in the corporate invasion of schools, the ubiquity of...”see full review » see other reviews »
“Juliet Shor's Born to Buy examined the commercialization of childhood. After providing a history, an overview of the tactics, and an examination the consequences, Shor argues -- pleads, as a parent -- for regulation and taxation to reign in the corporate invasion of schools, the ubiquity of product placement in television, the insidious attitude in advertising that encourages kids to not only seek approval by buying things, but to assert their coolness by badgering their parents into buying them the latest and greatest -- advertising that blames the parents for being mean and the cause of their child's misery if they don't. Released in the same year as Susan Linn's Consuming Kids, Shor's work contains more concrete data, but is not quite as helpful: Linn focused on especially destructive themes and counseled parents on how they could make decisions in their household and in conversations with their children to counter consumerism and premature sexualization. Shor largely passes by media sexualization and only looks at government regulation to reign in the abuse. Considering that the Supreme Court regards corporation as people who can dump however money they'd like into elections, I would not count the US government as an ally in this fight. Born to Buy is still very much worth reading, though, just for the numerous interviews with marketing execs, many of whom (parents themselves) left the business when they could no longer reconcile their work with their consciences. (With good reason: their usurpation of child psychology and carefully planned invasions of home and school borders on villainy.) A quotation from one:
"Banks [,a marketing agent], believes buzz practitioners are just getting started.
'We'll have ten or fifteen more ways of encircling the consumer in ten years [...] surrounding almost every move you make, that would be the ideal.' Asked about consumers who didn't like being marketed to, Banks didn't hesitate. 'Covert messaging. Use their friends.'"
Born to Buy was published in 2004. Nine years later, 'Banks' must surely be pleased with the ubiquity of facebook, which converts our friends' passions into ads for us, projected across the internet via plugins.”
“sociological, quantitative, and highly qualitative review of what it means to be exposed to marketing, consumption, and all of this when just a child. ”LmR wrote this review Monday, January 21, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Juliet B. Schor reveals how America's kids are being marketed to through the tv, internet, on the street, in their own bedrooms, and even in our schools. All this consumerism has a dangerous affect on our kids. They are unhappier than any other generation suffering from everything from ADD, ADHD, and depression. Schor goes in depth on this incredibly important topic and frankly, it's frightening. This book has given me many things to think about as I parent my own children. ”Jill D wrote this review Friday, April 1, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Scary!”Kellie B wrote this review Saturday, October 2, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Tenia F said: 5 stars
Last year, while standing in line at Epcot with my mom and her husband, my son, who was 12 at the time, out and out asks if he can have a 40 inch tv in his room. I looked at him, then at my mom, and said 'what would you have said if I asked that question at that age (she was kind enough not to remind me that they didn't have tv's that big when I was that age) she said 'Go get a job and a house and then you can buy it,' and I totally agreed. This book touches on how marketing is directed straight at children, even invading schools and younger ages. Maybe I'm a horrible mother, I don't go run out and buy designer jeans, or a new version of games everytime I'm asked. If he asks 100 times for something, I say no to it 100 times. The book definatley touches on things I've had to deal with being a parent.”
“Good, important information. Not riveting, but readable.”JenWR wrote this review Tuesday, May 27, 2008. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This book presents an interesting collection of research on the different ways the marketing industry continues to refine its consumer messaging to younger and younger children. This book is not so much argumentative or persuasive to the unbelievers but for those who are concerned it provides good reference points for discussion with family and friends. ”sfbridgerunner wrote this review Monday, October 29, 2007. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No