Sold Separately: Children and Parents in Consumer Culture / Edition 1

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"A radical approach to children's TV. . . . Seiter argues cogently that watching Saturday cartoons isn't a passive activity but a tool by which even the very young decode and learn about their culture, and develop creative imagination as well. Bolstered by social, political, developmental, and media research, Seiter ties middle class aversion to children's TV and mass-market toys to an association with the 'uncontrollable consumerism'--and hence supposed moral failure--of working class memebers, women, and 'increasingly children.' . . . Positive guidance for parents uncertain of the role of TV and TV toys in their children's lives." --Kirkus Review

"In this thought-provoking study, Seiter reasonably urges parents and others to put aside their own tastes and to understand that children's consumer culture promotes solidarity and sociability among youngsters." --Publishers Weekly

"An important book for those desiring an overview of the toy industry's impact on consumer culture . . . [it] provides a fair and well-balanced view of the industry." --Kathleen M. Carson, associate editor, Playthings

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Many parents (as well as teachers and child development experts) dismiss children's culture--mass-marketed toys, commercials and cartoons--as mindless, sexist and hedonistic. And so, many curtail or forbid TV-watching (except for PBS and educational videos) or refuse to buy mass-marketed toys. But, warns Seiter ( Remote Control: Television, Audiences, and Cultural Power ), this condemnation may do kids a disservice, since their mass culture is a sort of language that allows them to communicate with their peers. Also, she argues, nixing it can place a burden on busy caregivers, who would otherwise rely on TV and toys to occupy and distract children some of the time; and for kids from poor families who are not able to afford upscale toys, videos or cable TV, mass-marketed toys and entertainment may be the only show in town. Seiter discusses the many genres of children's TV and toys, analyzing the My Little Pony and Ghostbusters cartoon series (marketed to girls and boys, respectively) and taking a detailed look at the giant chain store Toys R Us (which strictly segregates girls' and boys' toys). In her thought-provoking study, she reasonably urges parents and others to put aside their own tastes and to understand that children's consumer culture promotes solidarity and sociability among youngsters. Photos. (Dec.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813521985
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/1995
  • Series: Communications, Media, and Culture Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 276
  • Lexile: 1450L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Introduction 1
Ch. 1 Children's Desires/Mothers' Dilemmas: The Social Contexts of Consumption 7
Ch. 2 Buying Happiness, Buying Success: Toy Advertising to Parents 51
Ch. 3 The Real Power of Commercials: Questioning the Terms of Debate 96
Ch. 4 Utopia or Discrimination?: Commercials for Kids 115
Ch. 5 Toy-based Videos for Girls: My Little Pony 145
Ch. 6 Action TV for Boys: Slimer and the Real Ghostbusters 172
Ch. 7 Toys "R" Us: Marketing to Children and Parents 193
Conclusion 227
Notes 235
Index 249
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