Consumer Babies?

July 20, 2007 at 2:28 am 1 comment

An organization I like a lot, The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, just published a summer reading list. One book on there has struck my interest, and I just requested it at my local library. It’s called Buy, Buy, Baby: How Consumer Culture Manipulates Parents and Harms Young Minds by Susan Gregory Thomas. CCFC calls it:

“a startling look at how corporate marketers prey on parents’ insecurities and target the youngest and most vulnerable children. Using interviews with marketing professionals, product developers, and child development experts, Thomas details disturbing trends, such as the rise of the baby video industry, the false and deceptive marketing of toys and videos as educational, the growth of commercial activities in preschools, and the increased use of licensed characters to sell anything and everything to babies and toddlers. An essential read for anyone concerned about the commercialization of childhood and the perfect eye-opening gift for new and expecting parents.”

According to some excellent reviews I found online, it also talks about the phenomenon of “kids getting older younger,” and one reviewer said it reads like a detective novel and changed his mind about how “harmless” it is for young children to watch TV.

What does this have to do with “Having Enough”? Lots! How early we start to learn that we “need stuff” (and don’t have enough), how large systems are in place to ensure this feeling, and, I’m hoping, some ideas for how we can try to counteract this with our own kids, the next generation.

Want to read it with me? Get it at your local library (or buy it, if you like), and let’s chat about it soon.

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Entry filed under: Books, Parenting.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Melissa  |  August 7, 2007 at 6:40 pm

    I’ll have to check for this one at the library. It’s amazing to me how quickly and thoroughly we became “un-commercial” once our kids came along– and still, they pick up commercial messages in unlikely places. From kids in Sunday School, from a birthday card with a character on the front, from terrible tie-in books at the big-box bookstore (okay, that last one’s predictable, but seriously, should I have to give up Barnes & Noble trips to keep my kids away from the singing Thomas the Tank Engine books?).

    Reply

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To spark conversation about redefining success (as individuals, families and institutions) and to counter "never enough" messages currently circulating in our culture.

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Megan Pincus Kajitani: Writer, Editor, Former Academic Overachiever and Career Counselor, Mom, Wife, Feminist, Gen Xer, Californian who believes that change is possible View Megan Pincus Kajitani's profile on LinkedIn

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