Published: November 2004
Sociology professor Juliet Schor, a best-selling scholar of the American lifestyle, discusses “the nag factor,” “trans-toying,” “viral marketing,” “tweening,” “decompression zones,” “bro-ing,” “cradle-to-grave marketing,” and other concepts that marketers use in persuading children to desire everything from automobiles to hamburgers. The author of Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture (Scribner, 2004), Schor talks with Boston College Magazine editor Ben Birnbaum about how a marketing effort of vast size, scope, and effectiveness has created a nation of “commercialized children.” Schor discusses the damaging effects that this commercialized culture can have on children, and tactics that parents can use to reduce children’s exposure to advertising.
Schor is the former director of the women’s studies program at Harvard University, a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the author of The Overworked American (1992) and The Overspent American (1998), for which she received the George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contribution to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language. She has been a sociology professor at Boston College since 2001.
“Easy targets” was filmed at the MTS Studios in Chestnut Hill on November 4, 2004.