Englehardt, Tom. (1986) “The Shortcake Strategy”

ARGUMENT After the deregulation of children’s advertising in the early 1980s, Children’s television shows were no longer designed to entertain, but to generate sales. Authorship shifted from TV studios to toy companies and advertising agencies that produced shows to function as program length commercials (PLCs) for licensed characters and their associated merchandising. Under this new … Continue reading

Kanner, Allen D. 2005. “Globalization and the Commercialization of Childhood.”

http://www.tikkun.org/article.php/Kanner-Globalization ARGUMENT Economic globalization has brought the concept of children as consumers to ever corner of the earth.  This global spread of “corporate monoculture” is harmful to children. SUMMARY There are three reasons why companies advertise to children: To generate brand awareness and loyalty at an early age that will continue throughout their lifetime To … Continue reading

Meyers, Cynthia (2014) A Word From Our Sponsor

Meyers, Cynthia (2014) A Word From Our Sponsor

ARGUMENT Meyers argues that advertising agencies played a key role in carving out American radio as a commercial medium and positioned themselves at the controls.  The primary reason their role has gone unnoticed is due to the fact that they were never credited on air so as not to distract from the advertiser’s message. SUMMARY … Continue reading

Send Chocolate Online this Holiday Season

So proud of my friends Kari Bishop and Collette Campbell who have just launched a new online business.  SweetEncouragement.ca allows you to order chocolate online and send to any address with a personalized note.  Way to go ladies!

Thiel-Stern, Shayla (2014) From the Dance Hall to Facebook

Thiel-Stern, Shayla (2014) From the Dance Hall to Facebook

ARGUMENT The media generates and perpetuates moral panics about teen girls when they cross hegemonic cultural boundaries of femininity.  The same narratives keep re-appearing in media.  Moral panic around girls is driven by an underlying need to maintain the hegemonic status quo regarding gender, femininity, and heteronormativity. SUMMARY Although somewhat scattered, Thiel-Stern’s introduction successfully outlines … Continue reading

Smith, Jacob. (2010) “The Books that Sing”

ARGUMENT Scholars generally consider children to be secondary “bit players” within consumer culture until the advent of television (Schor 2005).  Smith’s case study of children’s phonographs in the 1890-1930 period demonstrates that phonograph producers were “quick to recognize the importance of the child audience” (93). SUMMARY Children were approached indirectly (through parents/mothers) and directly in … Continue reading

Schrum, Kelly. (2004) Some Wore Bobby Sox

Schrum, Kelly. (2004) Some Wore Bobby Sox

ARGUMENT Most cultural histories of teenagers focus on delinquent (white) boys in the 1950s as the first “teenage” culture.  However, Schrum argues that girls were the original teenagers.  Adolescent girls developed their own unique tastes and styles in fashion, beauty, movies, and music beginning as early as the 1920s and used consumer culture to create … Continue reading

Cook, Daniel Thomas. (2004)  The Commodification of Childhood

Cook, Daniel Thomas. (2004) The Commodification of Childhood

ARGUMENT “The simplified thesis of this book is that markets shape persons in and through the consumer culture of childhood” (11). SUMMARY Cook studies children’s consumer culture beginning in 1917 with the introduction of Infants Department, the first trade journal dedicated to selling to children.  He argues that early twentieth century department stores essentially interpellated … Continue reading