BC SealBoston College Magazine Fall 2004
In This Issue
Linden Lane
Works and Days
Letters to the Editor
Special Section
BCM Home
Contact BCM
Coming Events
. Features

America's most wanted


Inside the world of young consumers

By Juliet Schor

The typical American child is now immersed in the consumer marketplace to a degree that dwarfs all historical experience. At age one, she's watching Teletubbies and eating the food of its "promo partners" Burger King and McDonald's. Kids can recognize logos by 18 months, and before reaching their second birthday, they're asking for products by brand name. By three or three and a half, experts say, children start to believe that brands communicate their personal qualities—that they're cool, for example, or strong, or smart. Even before starting school, the likelihood of having a television in their bedroom is 25 percent, and their viewing time is just over two hours a day. Upon arrival at the schoolhouse steps, the typical first grader can evoke 200 brands. And he or she has already accumulated an unprecedented number of possessions, beginning with an average of 70 new toys a year.

By age six or seven, girls are asking for the latest fashions, using nail polish, and singing pop music tunes. The day after the dELiA*s clothing catalogue arrives in the mail, marketers report that "everyone brings their catalogue to school" to talk about the products in it. (When I wrote those words dELiA*s was hot; when they appear in print, who knows? Trends move at the speed of light in this world.) Eight-year-old boys are enjoying Budweiser commercials (the consistent favorite ad for this age group), World Wrestling Entertainment, and graphically violent video games.

Schools routinely ban the toy fads that sweep the market, from Power Rangers to Pokémon, on the grounds that they lead to fights, antisocial behavior, and disruption. The average eight to 13 year old is watching over three and a half hours of television a day. American children view an estimated 40,000 commercials annually.

THIS COMMERCIALIZATION of childhood is being driven by a number of factors, including broad social trends. But underlying them all is a marketing juggernaut characterized by growing reach, effectiveness, and audacity. One clue to the marketing mentality is industry language. It's a war out there. Those at whom ads are directed are "targets." Committing money to an ad campaign is referred to as "going against the target." Printed materials are called "collateral." Impromptu interviews with consumers are "intercepts." The industry is heavily into the metaphor of biological warfare, as in the terms "viral marketing" and "sending out a virus." Other conventions include "converting [a kid] into a user" (a phrase from drug culture), delivering the "eyeballs," and becoming "top of mind."

The companies' successes are partly attributable to their enormous outlays of money. Texas A&M professor James McNeal, the nation's most influential estimator of the size of the children's market, has calculated that by 2004 total advertising and marketing expenditures directed at children reached $15 billion, a stunning rise from the mere $100 million in television advertising spent in 1983.

Researchers have chopped up the 52 million–plus children in the age-12-and-under demographic into discrete age, gender, ethnic, and product segments, and nearly every segment warrants a yearly conference. For those who want to capture Hispanic youth, there's the Annual Hispanic KidPower meeting, which promises to unlock the special secrets of the most rapidly growing market segment in the country. The Annual KidPower Food and Beverage conference teaches participants how to sell more junk food to kids. There are conferences devoted to teens, to tweens, to Latin America, Asia, and Europe. African-American children sometimes get special attention, as do themes such as girl power or technology. Hundreds of companies' representatives come to hear the latest findings about what kids are up to from researchers, psychologists, and ad agency reps. At one conference, I was treated to the pitch of the Gepetto Group, which created a simulated safari video, The Nature of Kids. The animals, of course, are children, defined as "nature's most elusive creature." The narrator has a British colonial accent, to conjure up images of safari suit and pith helmet. The kids slink through the jungle on all fours, guzzling soda and eating toaster pop-ups, speaking their own commercially inspired lingo. They're a species apart. But have no fear. Gepetto, the intrepid hunter, can help. It has snared and dissected these strange creatures we call our children and is ready to sell that information to anyone with cash to spend. Its representative promises to teach clients "how to get a grip on cool all the time," or do an assessment of kids' innermost dreams, aspirations, and fears.

Other companies have less elaborate come-ons but offer similar messages. Their workshop titles include "Emotional Branding: Maximizing the Appeal of Your Brand to Hispanic Youth," "Purchasing Power: Capturing Your Share of the Tween Wallet," and "Seeing the World Through Kids' Eyes: An Intimate Peek into the Minds and Hearts of Kids." Companies promise to "create an experience so engaging that the consumer won't have another option but to pay attention to it."

The research has gone anthropological, with ethnographic methods that scrutinize the most intimate details of children's lives. Marketers are videotaping children in their private spaces, providing in-depth analysis of the rituals of daily life. They are taking to the streets, to stores, and even going into schools to observe and record. Researchers are paying adults whom kids trust, such as coaches, clergy, and youth workers, to elicit information from them. Online, they're offering money, products, and prizes directly to kids in return for salable consumer information.

Photo by Bo Zaunders/Corbis

Photo by Bo Zaunders/Corbis

Once the research has been done, message crafting begins. Ads depict kid-friendly worlds free of annoying parents and teachers. Marketing is also being delivered in new ways, as stealth, guerrilla, and peer-to-peer techniques have taken hold. Companies enlist children to market to one another at school, in chat rooms, on playgrounds, even inside their homes. Public schools have been a major staging ground for advertisers in the past decade, with commercial-laden Channel One being viewed at school by 40 percent of all U.S. teens, on 90 percent of all school days. Trusted social institutions, such as the Girl Scouts and the Boys and Girls Clubs, are also teaming up with marketers. Beginning in 1995, the Girl Scouts began offering the "Fashion Adventure" experience with Limited Too, the country's largest girl-oriented retail chain. Boys and Girls Clubs of America has been collaborating to recruit children for the Strottman Consulting Group, a marketing firm.

AND KIDS ARE BUYING. Every half-second, somewhere in the world another Barbie is sold. McDonald's, despite its current woes, still manages to attract 8 percent of the American population every day, and a fifth of its business is in Happy Meals. More than 120 million kids worldwide have watched Children's Television Workshop (now Sesame Workshop) productions. Whether it's music, food, movies, video games, apparel, footwear, toys, television, sports, school supplies, retailing, e-tailing, health and beauty products, consumer electronics, entertainment, or travel, there is now a thriving children's market segment.

Children's purchasing power has risen rapidly. McNeal reports that children ages four to 12 made $6.1 billion in purchases in 1989, $23.4 billion in 1997, and $30 billion in 2002, an increase of 400 percent. The number one spending category, at a third of the total, is sweets, snacks, and beverages. Toys are number two, and apparel is growing fast. Older kids, ages 12 to 19, spend even more: They accounted for $170 billion of personal spending in 2002, or a weekly average of $101 per person. This teen market is important because the children's market tracks it, and trends and styles now migrate quickly from adolescents to kids. Teens have become a leading indicator for tween and child behavior.

Children are becoming shoppers at an earlier age. Six to 12 year olds are estimated to visit stores two to three times per week and to put six items into the shopping cart each time they go. Eighty percent of them shop regularly with their parents, a change necessitated by the decline of stay-at-home mothers. But kids are also going solo. McNeal estimates that one in four make trips to stores alone before they enter elementary school and that the median age for independent trips is eight. Youthful shoppers are now often buying for family needs, particularly in single-parent households. The proliferation of children in stores is leading to changes in retail environments. In 1996, the world's first mall catering exclusively to children opened in Alpharetta, Georgia. It has been enormously successful, and its "kids' village" concept has been copied around the country. Expect one along your local interstate before too long.

THE MORE CHILDREN shop, the more voice they have in parental purchases. In the industry, this is called the influence market, and it is enormous. McNeal estimates that children ages four to 12 directly influenced $330 billion of adult purchasing in 2004 and "evoked" another $340 billion. And he believes influence spending is growing by 20 percent per year. That persuasive power is why Nickelodeon, the number one television channel for kids, has had Ford Motor Company, Target, Embassy Suites, and the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism as its advertisers. (And this explains why your child has been asking for an SUV, a vacation in the Bahamas, and a Michael Graves teapot.)

Children's influence is being driven by a number of factors, including changes in parenting style. Older generations were more authoritarian; the famous "children should be seen and not heard" adage meant that parents made most buying decisions. Baby boomers and later generations of parents have been far more willing to give voice and choice, to see consumer decisions as "learning opportunities." (Cheerios or Fruit Loops? Cherry Popsicles or grape?) As one marketer explained to me, "When I was a kid I got to pick the color of the car. Kids nowadays get to pick the car." While that may be an exaggeration, there is little doubt that parental attitudes have changed markedly. One industry estimate finds that 67 percent of car purchases by parents are influenced by children. Marketers have put tremendous effort into discovering just how far kid influence has permeated into household purchasing dynamics and for what types of products. And what they have found is that for a growing array of expenditures, children, not parents, are making choices.

What's more, kids' opinions are solicited from the earliest ages. According to a consumer panel run by the New York advertising agency Griffin Bacal, 100 percent of the parents of children ages two to five agreed that their children have a major influence on their food and snack purchases. For video and book choices, the rate of major influence was 80 percent, and for restaurants, clothes, and health and beauty products, it stood at 50 percent. The Roper Youth Report has found that among six and seven year olds, 30 percent choose their own grocery store food items, 15 percent choose their toys and games, and 33 percent make fast-food and candy decisions. As kids age, their influence grows.

Food is the area where influence marketing and the decline of parental control has been most pronounced. Consider the case of Fruit Roll-Ups, a phenomenally successful snack food represented by Saatchi & Saatchi's Kid Connection. When the product was introduced, the ads had both kid and mom appeal. For moms, they called attention to the fruit aspect of the snack. But over time, the agency realized that this "dual messaging" was unnecessary. As a former Saatchi employee explained to me: "For years we used to say 10 percent fruit juice. And finally we're just like, okay, forget it. Who are we kidding? . . . That was also a conscious effort to move toward direct kid marketing and not even worrying about Mom. Just take her out of the equation because the nag factor is so strong on something like that, that you can just take advantage of that."

Parental time pressure and longer working hours have also driven this trend. Time-starved households have become easy prey for marketers, whose research shows that parents who spend less time with their children will spend more money on them. "Guilt money," as they call it, came up in almost all my discussions with marketers about why kids have so much influence now. Research done by one of my students at Harvard, Karen Greve, is consistent with this view. A decade ago, she found that parents who spent more hours working bought more discretionary items such as toys, videos, and books for their children. This effect is in addition to the fact that the additional income from working more also leads to more spending. By contrast, parents who spent more time with their children bought fewer of these items. The amount of extra spending was larger for mothers than fathers. And it was greater for toys than for other items. In higher-income families, spending was even more sensitive to time spent with children. These results do not show that parental guilt is motivating purchases, but marketers' belief in the power of guilt, and their ability to exploit it, remains strong.

Time pressure operates in other ways as well. Parents have less time to cajole kids to eat products they don't like or to return rejected purchases to stores. This is part of why 89 percent of parents of tweens report that they ask their children's opinions about products they are about to buy for them. Kids are also technologically savvy and eagerly seek out consumer information. Many parents now believe that their children know more about products and brands than they do, and they rely on that knowledge.

THESE DAYS, when kids ask, they ask for particular brands. A 2001 Nickelodeon study found that the average 10 year old has memorized 300 to 400 brands. Among eight to 14 year olds, 92 percent of requests are brand specific, and 89 percent of kids agree that "when I find a brand I like, I tend to stick with it." A 2000 Griffin Bacal study found that nearly two-thirds of mothers thought their children were brand aware by age three, and one-third said it happened at age two. Kids have clear brand preferences, they know which brands are cool, they covet them, and they pay attention to the ads for them. Today's tweens are the most brand-conscious generation in history.

The increased salience of brands is a predictable outcome of kids' greater exposure to ads. In the youth marketplace, many products are hardly differentiable without the labels. There's a copycat sameness to sodas, fast food, candy, athletic shoes, jeans, and even music and films. And in light of that, companies have to work overtime to establish brand identity and loyalty. They turn brands into "signs," symbolic entities detached from specific products and functional characteristics. This has been a winning strategy, and youth have eagerly embraced an ethic of labels and logos. But brand value is a hard quality to sustain, especially in today's super-competitive environment. The intensification of what scholars Robert Goldman and Stephen Papson have dubbed "sign wars," that is, corporate competition centered on images, has led to an ever-accelerating spiral of changing symbolism and brand vulnerability. And that vulnerability fuels marketing innovation and sometimes desperation.

In what industry insiders call the "kidspace," much of the action has been in brand extension—the insertion of products into a vast matrix of other products. There's the Pokémon TV program, the collectible cards, the handheld electronic game, Pokémon toys at the fast-food outlet, Pokémon versions of classic board games, Pokémon clothing, school supplies, plastic cups, backpacks, Pokémon everything and anything. Indeed, the process of extensive branding has become a profoundly normal part of children's lives. It's now a lack of branding that's out of the ordinary. One of my friends explained to me that her son, a five year old with sophisticated musical tastes, was baffled by the fact that there was no Talking Heads stuff—no show, no toys, no logo, no nothing. What was going on, he wondered, with this band he liked so much?

Photo by Chuck Savage/Corbis

Photo by Chuck Savage/Corbis

Increasingly the brands kids want aren't just any brands. They crave designer duds and luxury items. By the mid-1990s, parents and buyers reported a sea change as girls ages six to 10 became more fashion and label conscious. They wanted platform shoes and black clothing. They started asking for Hilfiger and Donna Karan labels. The designers claim that "kids are driving the trend," but they have been advertising heavily to them. Meanwhile, children's lines have sprung up at fashion houses such as Armani and Calvin Klein. Burberry opened Burberry Kids, and Abercrombie & Fitch, the current bad boy of youth apparel, became tweens' favorite brand. Upscaling has gone beyond designer clothes. By the end of the 1990s, Marianne Szymanski, founder of the Toy Research Institute, reported that "kids are starting to want more expensive toys like computer software, cell phones, VCRs, e-mail, stereos, bedroom microwaves (for making popcorn while they watch movies in their own 'bedroom theater'). And guess what? Parents are buying all these items." Kids are also amassing far more toys than ever before. The number of toys sold annually rose 20 percent between 1995 and 2000. The United States, despite having only 4.5 percent of the world's population, now consumes 45 percent of global toy production.

Consumer kid experiences are also going luxe, and they're often more adult-like. The London salon Mini Kin Kinder offers eight year olds its "Princess Treat," with haircut, manicure, and minifacial. Even cosmetic surgery has begun to reach down into childhood, according to journalist Alissa Quart, who reports that the year between elementary and middle schools is becoming a popular time for aesthetic enhancements for eyes, lips, chins, and ears. For those seeking the ultimate experience, FAO Schwartz in New York several years ago offered birthday sleepover parties at a price of $17,500, and they were booked solid. Restaurateurs report that "crayons just won't do it anymore," notes the Washington Post. Now they're providing menus attached to Magna Doodle sets, watercolor paint boxes, and Chinese carryout boxes with chopsticks, fortune cookies, and toys. In a nod to increasingly upscale tastes, in 2002 McDonald's gave away Madame Alexander dolls, full-sized versions of which go for $50, with its Happy Meals.

MEMORIES SHAPE adult views of childhood. Many in my generation—the baby boomers—have vivid recollections of endless hours of unsupervised, spontaneous outdoor play. We remember pickup games on an empty sandlot. Many of us had a "gang" (in the wholesome sense) of neighborhood kids, of mixed age and sex, who met up after school. When I was a kid, we would get obsessed with particular games, often ones we invented ourselves. There was plenty of indoor play as well—house, war, board games. We made concoctions, played dress-up, built forts, and fought with our siblings. Sometimes we even watched television.

We were lucky. Earlier generations of children spent much of their time working, on farms, in factories, and in domestic service. Paid child labor wasn't eliminated in this country until the 1920s. Baby boomers also escaped the sobering effects of economic depression and war. As girls, we were unusually liberated, both because we were allowed out on our own and because we were increasingly excused from household work. Children born in the late 1940s and afterward had a more carefree, play-oriented upbringing with less family responsibility than the generations that preceded them. Unfortunately, the era was short-lived. In recent years, children's unsupervised time has declined. They spend more hours in work-like activities, and more of their daily lives is structured by commercial and consumer activities.

Large-scale studies of children's time use are rare. In 1997, the Panel Study of Income Dynamics conducted a nationally representative survey of more than 3,500 children from approximately 2,400 households and gathered data on how they spend their time. Time use was measured through a daily activity diary. Among children ages three to 12, the data show that, after subtracting eating, sleeping, personal care, schooling, studying, day care, shopping, and household work, only 25 percent of time remains discretionary.

How do children spend that time? While three to five year olds play a considerable amount (more than 17 hours per week), what study authors Sandra Hofferth and John Sandberg define as play comprises only about 10 hours per week for the six-to-12 age group—fewer than the 13 hours they spent watching television. Nine to 12 year olds play fewer than nine hours a week. There are other play-oriented activities during discretionary time, such as art and hobbies (measured at one hour), and "outdoors" (35 minutes).

There is a widespread belief, reflected in such recent book titles as The Hurried Child and The Over-Scheduled Child, that today's children are more harried, sped up, likely to be herded into productive activities, and less able to be kids. An investigation of time-use patterns from two decades ago suggests these worries may not be misplaced. In comparison to 1981, today's children spend more hours in school, and they spend more time on homework. They spend a lot less time visiting others and having household conversations. And their passive leisure time has fallen. They also have somewhat less free time. These trends may help to explain why there are now stress management workshops for kindergartners and why marketing studies report that one of the major problems articulated by kids today is that they want less pressure, less overload, and more time to relax.

Contemporary children also do far more shopping. In 1997, the average child ages six to 12 spent more than two and a half hours a week shopping, a full hour more than in 1981. Children are frequent visitors to the grocery store and the pharmacy. They run errands to the dry cleaners and accompany parents to the mall. They spend as much time shopping as visiting, twice as much time shopping as reading or going to church, and five times as much as playing outdoors. (They do, however, spend half as much time shopping as playing sports.) More children go shopping each week (52 percent) than go to church (26 percent) or participate in youth groups (25 percent).

THE CHANGE in the experience of childhood that has attracted perhaps most attention is kids' heavy involvement with electronic media, prompting some to posit a new, postmodern childhood, driven by television, Internet, video games, movies, and videos. To see the magnitude of this change, we need to move beyond the diary data, to more detailed surveys of media use.

One such study is the Kaiser Family Foundation's 1999 Kids & Media @ The New Millennium, a high-quality, large-scale survey that combined a time diary with questions about the previous day's media viewing. It found that daily television viewing for two to 18 year olds was two hours and 46 minutes, plus an additional 28 minutes watching videotapes. Viewing is most intense at ages eight to 13, when television takes up three hours and 37 minutes a day, plus an additional 29 minutes with videotapes. That's nearly 30 hours per week. The averages, however, conceal wide variations, because there is a substantial group of very heavy watchers: 27.5 percent of kids ages eight to 13 report more than five hours a day of TV viewing. In the Kaiser study, 42 percent of respondents reported that in their house, the television was on "most of the time." In 60 percent of households the television is on during meals.

Photo by Robert Holmes/Corbis

Photo by Robert Holmes/Corbis

When we combine all types of media—video games, computers, music, radio, and print—media time almost doubles. The average American child is estimated to spend five hours and 29 minutes a day with media, for a weekly total of more than 38 hours. About 45 minutes a day is spent with print media. Forty-six percent of eight to 13 year olds report their total media exposure (which double counts media being used simultaneously) as being more than seven hours per day.

IN SHORT, the past 15 to 20 years have witnessed big changes in what kids have been doing and watching. So, how are they faring?

Let's start with nutrition. Historically, poverty has been the major culprit in malnutrition and poor diet. And despite the nation's wealth, we do have significant levels of poverty-induced hunger and malnutrition. In 1999, 16.9 percent of children were subject to what is called "food insecurity" and did not have adequate food to live active, healthy lives. Millions of American children still go hungry. But now there's a new problem with food. Diets have gotten far out of line with recommended nutritional standards. Most kids are eating the wrong foods, and too much of them. A 1997 study found that 50 percent of children's calories are from added fat and sugar, and the diets of 45 percent of children failed to meet any of the standards of the USDA's food pyramid. Children eat excessive quantities of advertised food products and not enough fruits, vegetables, and fiber. Among children ages six to 12, only 12 percent have a healthy diet, and 13 percent eat a poor diet. The rest are in the "needs improvement" category.

As has been widely reported, rates of youth obesity are skyrocketing. Using the 85th percentile Body Mass Index as a cutoff, about 25 percent of American youth are now overweight or obese. By the stiffer 95th percentile criterion, 15 percent of children are obese. Since 1980, obesity rates for children have doubled, and those for teens have tripled. Weight-related diseases, such as type II diabetes and hypertension, are rising rapidly. Alongside the rise in obesity is excessive concern with thinness and body image and a host of eating disorders. Record numbers of girls are on diets, and they are beginning to diet at an increasingly young age.

Other forms of consumption are similarly troubling. Kids are smoking, drinking alcohol, and taking illegal drugs at alarming rates. As early as the eighth grade, more than seven percent of kids are regular smokers, and that number nearly triples by 12th grade. Despite the six-year-old tobacco settlement barring cigarette ads aimed at children, more than 2,000 children and teens still start smoking every day, a third of whom will die of smoking-related causes. In the eighth grade, 14 percent of kids report that they have taken five alcoholic drinks in a row within the past two weeks. By the 12th grade, twice as many say so. Half of all high schoolers report that they currently drink alcohol. And 12 percent of eighth graders report that they have used illegal drugs within the past 30 days. Among 12th graders, that percentage rises to 25 percent.

Children and youth are increasingly suffering from emotional and mental health problems. A study published in the journal Pediatrics found that rates of emotional and behavioral problems among children ages four to 15 soared between 1979 and 1996. Rates of anxiety and depression went from negligible to 3.6 percent; attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder rose from 1.4 percent to 9.2 percent. Estimates of major depression are as high as 8 percent for adolescents. In recent decades, suicide rates have climbed, and suicide is now the fourth leading cause of death among 10 to 14 year olds. Suicide rates are highest among racial minorities. In 2001, the annual nationwide survey of incoming college freshmen conducted by the University of California at Los Angeles found that self-reports of physical and emotional health reached their worst level in the 16 years the questions had been asked.

The National Institute of Mental Health's large-scale MECA study (Methods for the Epidemiology of Child and Adolescent Mental Disorders, 1999) yields similar findings. It found that 13 percent of kids ages nine to 17 suffer from anxiety, 6.2 percent have food disorders, 10.3 percent have disruptive disorders, and 2 percent suffer from substance abuse. Taken together, about 21 percent of this age group had a "diagnosable mental or addictive disorder with at least minimum impairment." Eleven percent had a significant functional impairment, and 5 percent were reported to have an extreme functional impairment.

Conclusions from the University of Michigan's 1997 Child Development Supplement, which included children ages three to 12, also give cause for concern. Although parents reported that their children were generally happy and healthy, one in five said that they were fearful or anxious, unhappy, sad, depressed, or withdrawn. Two in five reported that their children were impulsive, disobedient, or moody. All told, nearly 50 percent reported at least one of these problems. This survey also asked about the quality of relationships between children and parents. It found that only 59 percent of parents reported that their relationships with their school-aged children are "extremely or very close," and only 57 percent reported engaging in warm behaviors with their child several times a week (warm behaviors being defined as hugging, joking, playing, and telling them they love them).

Taken together, these findings are not comforting. They show that American children are worse off today than they were 10 or 20 years ago. This conclusion is especially notable when we consider that during the past 15 years, child poverty fell substantially, from a high of 22 percent in the late 1980s to its current rate of 16 percent. Since child poverty is correlated with adverse physical and psychological health outcomes, that decline should have led to lower measures of distress. The deterioration in well-being suggests that some powerful negative factors are at work.

One of them may be the upsurge in materialist values. According to the Roper Youth Report, children's top aspiration now is to be rich, a more appealing prospect to them than being a great athlete, or a celebrity, or being really smart. In another study, 44 percent of kids in fourth through eighth grades reported that they daydream "a lot" about being rich. And nearly two-thirds of parents reported that "my child defines his or her self-worth in terms of the things they own and wear more than I did when I was that age." One of the few large national surveys of children's materialism found that more than a third of all children ages nine to 14 would rather spend time buying things than doing almost anything else. More than a third "really like kids that have very special games or clothes." More than half agree that "when you grow up, the more money you have, the happier you are." And 62 percent say that "the only kind of job I want when I grow up is one that gets me a lot of money."

Psychologists have found that espousing these kinds of materialist values undermines well-being, leading people to be more depressed, anxious, less vital, and in worse physical health. Among youth, those who are more materialistic are more likely to engage in risky behaviors. In the light of these findings, the changing outlook of childhood is worrisome.


Professor Juliet Schor joined the sociology faculty at Boston College in September 2001. She is the author of the 1991 bestseller The Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline of Leisure and of The Overspent American: Upscaling, Downshifting, and the New Consumer (1998). Her essay here is excerpted from her new book, Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture. Copyright © 2004 by Juliet Schor. Reprinted by permission of Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.


. . .
Alumni Home
BC Home