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The Impact of Mass Advertisements on the US Children and Adolescents - Assignment Example

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The commercialization of childhood that started in the US in the late 20th and early 21st century, had many facets including privatization of schools, profuse advertising of products targeted at children and teenagers, and the creation of a culture that is conducive for further commercialization and consumerism…
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The Impact of Mass Advertisements on the US Children and Adolescents
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Download file to see previous pages One major private educational company, which was bidding to take over public schools, has been Edison Schools Inc. and though many parents and officials initially thought that handing over the schools to this company would eventually improve the quality of education, at a later stage, it became clear that the company planned to serve only its own interests (Quart: 216). When in its report on how to revive the ailing public school system, Edison underplayed the issue of underfunding of schools, and blamed mismanagement alone, finally the public awoke to the vices of privatization (Quart: 217). Also, the parents felt Edison Inc. was continuously discriminating against public school children by blaming their performance, and also the teachers feared they would lose their job stability after privatization (Quart: 217). But the basic question in focus has been whether a private “for-profit company” should be handed over the responsibility of building the future citizens of the nation, thereby allowed to decide how the future of a nation should turn (Quart: 218). The “advertising-laden high school television station” run by Edison and similar and other popular cartoon, music and teenage television channels are yet another face of the commercialization of childhood, adolescence and teenage (Quart: 220). Even the lighting up of The National Christmas Tree at the White House Ellipse has become commercialized as it was sponsored by MCI, a corporate company notorious with a fraudulent history (Ruskin and Schor: 1). The branding of schools through television advertising is also part of this process (Quart: 220-221). It was in 1989 that schools started accepting television broadcast filled with advertisements offered by specific TV stations (Ruskin and Schor: 1). The advertisements have such a serious impact on the kids that the, “popular media images of crazed and brand-addicted ‘inner city’ youth willing to kill for the items they want” have become very popular among them (as cited in Quart: 223). The result of school television broadcast and advertising was that by 2000, schools started allowing sale of soda, chocolate candy and even “personal care products” and “sponsored educational material” by private companies (Ruskin and Schor: 2). What the advertisements and those who employ them want is to sell their products despite whether the buyers really need them or not. Hence first of all they need to create a demand, which is the case in majority of the advertised products, and this demand is created by packaging them inside a cultural message. This phenomenon is the manifestation of a social process called “external imposition of culture” (Mendonca: 4). It has been noted that the US culture is “corporately contrived and corporately imposed” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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