Tagged with children/youth culture

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 (This is adapted from McNeal 1992 but Kanner doesn’t cite it): To generate brand awareness and loyalty … Continue reading

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

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


ARGUMENT Society punishes girls who don’t properly perform femininity based on dominant cultural ideologies and expectations. Thiel-Stern’s research highlights the particular threat posed by teen girls who emerge from the “safety” of the domestic space to partake in public leisure. Whether drinking in public dance halls, screaming at an Elvis concert, or posting selfies to … 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

Garvey, Ellen Gruber. (1996) The Adman in the Parlor

Garvey, Ellen Gruber. (1996) The Adman in the Parlor


ARGUMENT In the 1880s, advertising became a part of daily life and it socialized women and children (mostly girls) into adopting the new consumer culture. SUMMARY In The Adman in the Parlour, Garvey (1996) examines socio-cultural changes in the late nineteenth century to better understand the origins of women’s consumer culture. While most historians point … Continue reading

Formanek-Brunell, Miriam. (1992) “Sugar and Spite: The Politics of Doll Play in Nineteenth Century America”


ARGUMENT The author challenges the popular understanding that dolls limited girls’ development and restricted them to domestic and maternal responsibilities. Her studies of girls’ diaries, magazines, advice manuals and other primary sources finds that girls appropriated dolls and used them for purposes other than practicing their mothering skills. SUMMARY In the earlier part of the … Continue reading

Jacobson, Lisa. (2004) Raising Consumers

Jacobson, Lisa. (2004) Raising Consumers


ARGUMENT   SUMMARY Jacobson  finds that children were often depicted in early twentieth century ads as precocious shoppers with distinctive preferences and a voice to express them. In line with Cross’ and Kline’s assertions about the changing nature of childhood, Jacobson adds that changes in family life, such as a decline in the number of … Continue reading