Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Buckingham's "The Material Child"

©2011 Polity Press/David Buckingham
Via one of your classmates, Lisa, heads up on an article that appeared in yesterday's Globe and Mail on...coincidentally....David Buckingham and his new book, The Material Child: Growing Up in Consumer Culture. Notice that the article frames his argument in terms of kids not being as "corrupted" by marketing as anti-consumerism advocacy groups claim, and yet Buckingham himself espouses a very middle ground approach (typical for him and his work, as discussed in class this week). For example:
I’d say that there are some areas where you can say kids really genuinely are savvy. I think there’s a lot of research that suggests kids understand how TV advertising works from a fairly young age. But the world of marketing to kids has changed quite significantly. A lot more electronic forms of marketing are much more invisible, much more pervasive. You could say there are areas there where kids don’t know what’s going on but I’m not sure adults do either.
So true - when it comes to viral marketing, data-mining and experiential/emergent forms of cross-promotion, much of which happens below the line and behind the scenes, very few people of any age really understand what's going on. Add to this some of the ways in which transmedia intertextuality and user appropriations are mobilized in increasingly sophisticated ways (again, as discussed in class this week), and it's quite a murky territory filled with difficult questions. Looking forward to picking up a copy of Buckingham's new book and seeing how he's dealt with some of these challenges.

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