By Lisa Jacobson
Childrens play a vital position in modern-day financial system. in keeping with a few estimates, little ones spend or effect the spending of as much as $500 billion every year. newshounds, sociologists, and media reformers frequently current mass advertising towards young children as a up to date fall from grace, however the roots of kid's consumerism — and the anxieties over it — date again greater than a century. through the 20th century, a large choice of teams — together with advertisers, shops, mom and dad, social reformers, baby specialists, public colleges, and kids themselves — helped to socialise teenagers as shoppers and struggled to outline the correct barriers of the industry. The essays and records during this quantity remove darkness from the old conditions and cultural conflicts that helped to supply, form, and legitimize kid's consumerism.Focusing totally on the interval from the Gilded Age throughout the 20th century, this publication examines how and why young children and young people got new financial roles as shoppers, and the way those new roles either mirrored and produced dynamic alterations in kin existence and the tradition of capitalism. This quantity additionally finds how young children and teens have used client items to outline own identities and peer relationships — occasionally towards retailers' expectancies and parental intentions.
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Extra info for Children and consumer culture in American society: a historical handbook and guide
Why has the balance of power between advertisers, children, and parents changed so dramatically in the last two decades? One reason might be that children today have more discretionary income than their early twentiethcentury counterparts. Advertisers don’t need to defer to parental gatekeepers when they can tap children’s funds directly. 00 more Advertising, Mass Merchandising, and Children’s Consumer Culture 21 than boys. Supplementary earnings typically doubled the weekly yield for teenage boys and girls.
Childhood was relatively short for enslaved children, who labored in the fields and the master’s household, and for immigrant, free black, and working-class children, whose earnings helped their families make ends meet (Mintz and Kellogg 1988; Zelizer 1985). The new world of sheltered childhood expanded an already growing market for children’s literature. In the first half of the nineteenth century, mass production and new printing methods made children’s books and magazines both more affordable and more plentiful.
Since the mid-nineteenth century, children’s consumption of mass media has precipitated heated discussions about the nature of childhood, the social responsibilities of media producers, and the proper limits of government regulation and artistic expression. Debates about children’s media usage have been inspired by a desire to protect children’s innocence. They also reflect struggles for cultural authority among the various groups—child experts, religious organizations, children’s librarians, reformers, media producers, and even children themselves—that are the focus of this chapter.