The book Branded, by Alissa Quart is an amazing book that talks about how much money, time, and energy is spent by our corporate culture to effectively change the lives and habits of teenagers. The book is written by, and she does a marvelous job of documenting the teenage-corporate-media relationship throughout American history. With degrees from Brown University and Columbia, her journalism and research skills are unparalleled. Every statement and point is backed up by countless facts, studies, and statistics that leave no room for doubt.
These truths are coupled with sensitive and powerful real-life illustrations that further prove the book’s powerful message that relates to teenagers, culture, and money. The book really made me realize what a strong effect the culture has on children. I guess I always knew this was true, but could never really understand why it was true until I read this book. The book goes beyond opinions and corporate bashing and instead focuses on hard evidence that has been compiled from what seems like years of research.
The stories, policies, and tactics revealed of how corporations influence kids and teenagers are frightening, and society’s response (or lack of) is even more disturbing. What surprised me most about Branded were the real life examples of how teenagers were being effected by corporate power and propaganda. One example showed of how the movie heroes and heroines of the seventies and eighties were teenagers who overcame the rich, snobbish bullies who thought that they were better than everyone else. Then the book shows of how a paradigm shift occurred and that now the upper class, rich, and snobbish people are the role models. They are what teenagers want to become today.
... criteria, conflict tolerance, and control are dimensions of a corporate culture.The culture of a company is very influential in daily transactions. It ... will perpetuate itself through the life of the organization. Promotions and raises also affect the type of culture a company has. Is ... most people have today is implementing ethics into their daily life is the question, Will it benefit the Company? or ...
Movie such as ‘Clueless’, ‘Varsity Blues’ and ‘She’s All That’ present the blondest, most stylish, richest, and elite people as the new heroes and heroines. In ‘She’s All That’, a teenager is even saved from individualism and ‘nerdiness’ and eventually in transformed in a supermodel beauty queen that eventually is accepted by her high school’s elite group. The message is powerful, and throughout the book you start to realize how deranged a teenager’s culture has become. Another powerful Alissa Quart made that coincided with the one above is how influential style and fashion has become to teenagers. Branded makes a strong argument that shows how corporations and media are started to create teenage personalities for them to fit into. It can be seeing by the various cliques of today’s teenagers.
For instance, the punk rock style not only means punk rock clothes, but also a punk rock personality that compliments them. Kids are going beyond fitting into clothes to fitting into the identity that their clothes represent. They are trying to become adults faster than ever before, and corporations push this theme in a successful attempt at getting billions of dollars. The book has really shown me what kids are going through in today’s world. They are trying to grow up faster than ever, and they want to be accepted yet individual. They are facing huge pressures to buy the right clothes and fit into the right category that they want to be associated with.
They want to be part of the elite. Kids don’t realize how much they are being affected by their culture. They are bombarded with images and messages that promote them to be a certain way. This is extremely relevant to youth pastors because it goes beyond clothes and reaches into their mentalities about life. The same messages about clothes also tell them about their sexuality and what is considered ‘normal’.
... seemed the more people spoke out against rock music the more popular rock music became. The teenager social class was growing every day ... dressed. This became the norm of how teenagers acted. In conclusion the reason that rock and roll music was so appealing was ... about of kids in America drastically. These kids of the baby boom started a new age class in America, the “teenager”. Prior to ...
Promiscuity is being promoted more today than ever. The book brings up a good point about AF. Even though it’s main selling base is teenagers, it’s catalogues have to be rapped up in plastic because of the sexual and nude references made in them. The corporations are also promoting social issues that often don’t agree with the Christian viewpoint. As youth pastors, we need to realize what is happening and we need to give our youth the necessary tools for them to critically think about what is going on and for them to have a Biblical perspective on the World. If we don’t react to this problem we are going to look more and more similar to the world, and soon we will be numb to what is going on.
If we don’t address these issues they will be considered the norms, and kids will accept them as natural and normal. It is a daunting task to fight against billions of dollars worth of communication, but it can be done, and as a Christian we need to teach our kids how to live a Biblical life.