Friday, March 11, 2005

Library Bag: Born to Buy by Juliette Schor

We are lucky to live half a mile from our branch library. Its my best and quickest frugal resource!

Here are 2 books that made me think about frugality this week.

Seeing Past Z: Nurturing the Imagination in a Fast Forward World
By Beth Kephart

A noted writer shares ideas about encouraging children’s minds to wander, explore, and record. This book is more inspirational than practical, though there are sample workshop writing activities for kids in the appendix.

Kephart’s beautiful writing makes you want to take these lessons for your own. I vowed again to turn off the TV during the week!

Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture
By Juliet B. Schor, author of The Overspent American

If you are a parent, this book will scare you to death. Schor, a sociology expert, presents statistical research and chilling anecdotes about the marketing to children.

Suffice it to say that Schor will open your eyes. Even if you consider yourself a watchful parent, you will be surprised by just how much marketing gurus know about your children and plan to capture them. I expected the usual warnings about TV, toys, and drugs, but I was surprised by how guilty I have been on the food front. Schor also explains how the “parental gatekeeper” is no longer a hurdle for marketers in a world where two parents work.

Here is a favorite example from page 132:

“Faced with the barrage of food advertisement, too few parents have been able to hold their ground. Parental resignation on food is also occurring because parents feel assaulted on so many other fronts...One mother, who is simultaneously trying to rein in wrestling, inappropriate lyrics, excessive Gameboy time, television, and junk food, explained: ‘You can’t fight every fight. So food’s the one that lost.’

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