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Teen Dreams & Adult Pleasures. Angela Record, Born to Shop: Teenage Women and the Marketplace in the Post-War US.

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Presentation on theme: "Teen Dreams & Adult Pleasures. Angela Record, Born to Shop: Teenage Women and the Marketplace in the Post-War US."— Presentation transcript:

1 Teen Dreams & Adult Pleasures

2 Angela Record, Born to Shop: Teenage Women and the Marketplace in the Post-War US

3 Henry Giroux, Nymphet Fantasies: Child Beauty Pageants and the Politics of Innocence

4 The Invention of Childhood Concept of childhood is a reasonably new invention Philippe Ariès, Centuries of Childhood: A Social History of Family Life, (1960), multiple-volume study argues that chidlhood is a modern development

5 Middle Ages Ariès: Children as small adults; Nuclear family was not as it is today; Bonds not evident, parenting detached Children not protected from sexuality or treated as delicate; Children with adults outside of family structures.

6 Transformation Change takes place with developments in thinking about human development (eg. Piaget) Formal schooling as a reflection of these changes Also changes in the way the family was imagined and role of nuclear family

7 In Canada from informal and voluntary system to free compulsory education from 1870 to 1920s Abolition of child labour in Canada (by 1929, children under 14 prohibited from factory and mine employment in most provinces)

8 The Century of the Child Hugh Cunningham, The Invention of Childhood (2006) 20 th Century Future of a nation dependent on its children Attention to welfare of children, issues of poverty and education

9 1950s Rising standards of living Greater disposable income Increasing expenditure brought about by reliance on borrowing, debt

10 Inventing the Teenager Identification of a lucrative market by Eugene Gilbert in mid- 1940s The George Gallop of the teenagers Generation of statistics and created the teen-ager as a demographic Market researcher, included hiring high school students to do peer research

11 Gilberts Discovery No established pattern…No inventory of treasured, and to many an adults way of thinking, irreplaceable objects. Youth…is the greatest growing force in the community. His physical needs alone constitute a continuing and growing requirement in food, clothes, entertainment, etc. It had definitely been established that because he is open-minded and desires to learn, he is often the first to accept new and forward-looking products. ~ Gilbert

12 The untapped market in mid-1950s of 16 million teenagers estimated to spend between 7 and 9 billion dollars Question: How to develop brand loyalty among these consumers at a young age?

13 American Bandstand Showed teens using sponsors products Sponsors like 7-Up, Dr. Pepper, Clearasil, and Rice-A-Roni, Mounds Direct connection of products to markets by way of popular culture consumption /watch?v=v8W20h4kpk0 /watch?v=v8W20h4kpk0

14 Gendering Consumption Producing ideals of gender Young men and women as consumers of ideals of beauty, social role, etc. Capitalizing on insecurities?

15 Seventeens Teena "Teena [the teenage girl archetype] means businessdont pass her by. You cant afford to overlook the high school girl…Shes an important girl and bound to be quite a woman. Sell her now for now and the future in the magazine she reads and believes Seventeen.~Estelle Evans, promotional director, 1940s

16 New Markets: The Tween Conventionally aged 10 to 12 years, the concepts has expanded to include 8 year olds Share some characteristics of teens, including sexual development, but a period of conformity rather than rebellion http://www.packagedfact http://www.packagedfact

17 Problems of Definition http://www.urbandiction =tween http://www.urbandiction =tween Urban Dictionary 2000s – market segment 33 million strong, worth estimated $150 billion a year Is the tween gendered?

18 Merchants of Cool m/watch?v=vaHRmOjO uTM m/watch?v=vaHRmOjO uTM

19 Exercise Where would we look to find cool today? What does cool today look like? What does it tell us about masculinity and femininity? In your group, go online. Locate 2 examples of tween culture today that illustrate extreme gender ideals. Explain how you decided where to look. Explain how you decided on which examples were extreme and why. Be prepared to present your examples to the class.

20 The Social Tween m/sa-article/social- tween-141314 m/sa-article/social- tween-141314

21 The Disappearance of Childhood? Neil Poster, 1982 Children increasingly inserted into adult world Example of television viewing Is this another example? Deeply problematic insertion of children into sexualized contexts, erosion of innocence


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