Generation Y has grown up in an age of the brand, bombarded by name products. In Branded, Alissa Quart illuminates the unsettling new reality of marketing to teenagers, as well as the quieter but no less worrisome forms of teen branding: the teen consultants who work for corporations in exchange for product; the girls obsessed with cosmetic surgery who will do anything to look like women on TV; and those teens simply obsessed with admission into a name-brand college. We also meet the pockets of kids attempting to turn the tables on the cocksure corporations that so cynically strive to manipulate them. Chilling, thought-provoking, even darkly amusing, Branded brings one of the most disturbing and least talked about results of contemporary business and culture to the fore-and ensures that we will never look at today's youth the same way again.
Alissa Quart takes the reader into the disturbing world of teen marketing, showing how they are taught to market to each other and where adults build careers out of insinuating their way into friendships with teens in order to monitor what they wear, eat, listen to and talk about.
The current generation of American youth is the most heavily marketed to in history. Journalist Quart argues that this marketing reinforces teens' fears about social standing and makes them believe that "the only way to participate in the world is to turn oneself into a corporate product. " Fortunately, she observes, teens also display remarkable abilities to subvert the corporate agenda, whether through everyday slang or through the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) ethic. She details both processes in a journalistic style. Annotation (c)2003 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)
Alissa Quart's deeply disturbing account looks at the intensely competitive and frenzied lives of America's children. Travelling the country and talking to scores of parents, teachers and children she looks at the overhyped world of baby edutainment and 'better baby' early education programmes, takes the lid off the world of IQ testing and child competitions (from Scrabble and chess to child preaching), and explores the lives of particular children who have been identified as prodigies u from a four-year-old painter whose works sell for $300,000 to an eight-year-old professional skateboarder who is backed by nine corporate sponsors. And she asks the questions that many parents find themselves asking. Where should parents and teachers draw the line? How do we establish when children are being under-stimulated or over-stretched? And can the hothousing of children lead to irreparable problems later in life? Hothouse Kids is a thought-provoking, often shocking exploration of a subject that is only too worryingly topical.
Republic of Outsiders is about the growing number of Americans who disrupt the status quo: outsiders who seek to redefine a wide variety of fields, from film and mental health to diplomacy and music, from how we see gender to what we eat. They include professional and amateur filmmakers crowd-sourcing their work, transgender and autistic activists, and Occupy Wall Street's "alternative bankers." These people create and package new identities in a practice cultural critic Alissa Quart dubs "identity innovation": they push the boundaries of who they can be and what they can do, even turning the forces of co-optation to their benefit.In a brilliant and far-reaching account, Quart introduces us to individuals who have created new structures to keep themselves sane, fulfilled, and, on occasion, paid. This deeply reported book shows how and why these groups now gather, organize, and create new communities and economies. Without a middleman, freed of established media, and highly mobile, unusual ideas and cultures are able to spread more quickly and find audiences and allies.Republic of Outsiders is a critical examination of those for whom being rebellious, marginal, or amateur is a source of strength rather than weakness.
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