According to consumerism and economics expert Schor (The Overspent American), the average year-old has BORN TO BUY: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture. Juliet B. Schor, Author. Scribner. Born to Buy has ratings and 89 reviews. Science Juliet Schor’s Born to Buy is an extremely well-researched, informative, and empowering book on how. Born to Buy focuses in on those very issues. It’s written by Juliet Schor, who also wrote The Overspent American, a book focusing on adults and.

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The influence of consumerism on my children has been a concern to me for a long time. From the moment I first held my son, I realized that I had a deep responsibility to raise him with strong values and the ability to reason through information presented to him, and I feel exactly the scuor way about my daughter.

To me, modern consumerism is just a bunch of noise attempting to drown out this message, using any number of ploys to convince my children to not make well-reasoned decisions, particularly when it comes to material goods and money. Born to Buy focuses in on those very issues. Digging Into Born to Buy. To me, this is a good thing; to others, it may come off like drinking from a fire hose. Children often tie their own self worth to the material goods around them, to a level far unprecedented compared to previous generations of children.

A majority of children in the United States are directly involved in the consumer decisions of the family things like automobile purchases bprn their sense of identity is somewhat based on juljet outcome of kuliet decisions. This leads to several things: The psychology of materialism and materialist values has negative effects on an adult mind, but blrn the mind of a child who has not yet learned many of the things adults take for granted, the effects of materialism can be tremendous — and feelings of insufficiency that are pervasive in modern marketing lead children to a negative self-image that, of course, can only be pacified through more consumer goods.

The Content of Commercial Messages Here, Schor focuses on the variety of themes found in commercial messages and, juliwt, as a parent my stomach felt uncomfortable.

Born to Buy

Schor goes into buuy detail about Nickelodeon, the child-oriented television network, and why it is extremely effective at creating great marketing targeting children. The julit methods involved with this toy were quite impressive.


Children can no longer trust normal methods of information. Marketers are quite willing to find every avenue imaginable to juluet a child, and the methods that parents and children used to be able to rely on for unbiased information have become clouded.

The Commercialization of Public Schools Marketing also filters heavily into the public school system, from things like Channel One to advertising messages slipped into the classroom content to school administrators directly allowing advertising in schools.

School at least public school is not a safe haven from marketing — in fact, for many, school is a place where they are exposed to more marketing. While I am aware that this goes on I certainly was exposed to it in the mid s in schoolwhat bothers me bogn than anything is that the reason for most of these programs is inadequate government funding for education.

Dissecting the Child Consumer: The New Intrusive Research Why is marketing so effective? Here, Schor provides some big clues: Schor relates the use of brain scans, home monitoring, videotaping and quantitative and qualitative analysis schir child responses, and numerous other scientific analyses that are used solely to develop better models for convincing children to want products. The marketing models developed by these organizations are incredibly well conceived, detailed, and are targeted towards the specific psychological areas where children are weakest.

Ads hone in on areas of insecurity, triggering them in whatever way is needed to evoke a positive response toward the product and encourage more sales. Selling Kids on Junk Food, Drugs, and Violence Even more disturbing, many of these techniques mix thoroughly with elements that are simply not good for children, things like borh, violence, sfhor junk food.

Junk food, tobacco, and alcohol advertisements directly target children, no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

These ads intend to plant the idea of the product in the minds of the children so they will not only desire the product themselves, but encourage their parents to purchase it.

Even violence is marketed, through games like Grand Theft Auto and violent films. Even though I have no problem with these products existing, I am bothered by the fact that many of them are marketed directly towards children.

Since many forms of media are designed by marketers to have psychological hooks into the minds of children, many children wind up addicted to media, addicted to consumerism, and prone to emulating the behavior that they see.

Exposure to consumer culture is directly related to a greater tendencies to lie, to cheat, to steal, to be overweight, to reject parental authority and guidance, to be violent, and to exhibit signs of greediness.


All of these psychological hooks within marketing push children down this avenue. In many cases, parents are to blame in that they allow media to become a surrogate parent. Society as a whole is somewhat to blame as well. Schor offers a lot of guidance in this closing chapter, so I tried to boil it down to several points that can be taken away.

Review: Born to Buy – The Simple Dollar

First, parents need to create rules about television and stick to them. Limit the amount of time your child can watch television each day.

Second, parents juoiet walk the walk as well. If you restrict the television your children watch, you should restrict the amount you watch as well. Learn how to cook at home and sxhor the garbage. Perhaps you can find parents who feel much the same way as you do.

Finally, and this is the most important thing you can possibly do, spend more time with your kids away from media. Participate in sports with them. Play board games with them. Do projects with them. Anything that you can do with your child in a non-marketed situation is a good thing and it will reap great benefits for you and your child. If you have children and can tolerate reading that is a bit dry in a few places, Born to Buy is a must-read. It demonstrates in a clear, fact-based manner the diversity schoor ways that advertisements and consumer behavior influences your child in profound ways, for better and for worse, and it provides a lot of great advice for parents concerned about these issues.

The book was quite dense, but it was incredibly thought provoking for me as a parent and as a consumer. In fact, this book made me inch ever closer to a completely television-free schod.

Born to Buy by Trent Hamm Updated on Digging Into Born to Buy One quick comment: Let’s keep in touch. Get the best of The Simple Dollar, right in your inbox.