Parents vs. a billion dollar industry selling to your kids

Learn about: Parents vs. a billion dollar industry selling to your kids from Jean Kilbourne, EdD,...
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Parents vs. a billion dollar industry selling to your kids

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I actually think there's never been a more difficult time to be a parent because in the past, the cultural messages were more or less congruent with what most parents wanted for their children. But these days, I think many parents feel that they have to fight the cultural messages every step of the way. George Gerbner, a wonderful researcher, said once that the first time in human history, most of the stories that are told to children are told not by families or churches or communities, they're not told by people with something to tell, but rather they're told by distant conglomerates with something to sell. And that's never happened before that our children have been targeted to this extent by marketers, by people who do not have their best interests at heart, and as parents, we have to resist these messages, fight these messages all the time. Now, there are many organizations that can help. The campaign for commercial-free childhood, for example, does a wonderful job of alerting parents to what some of the problems are and what parents can do. There are many other organizations now that can help parents teach media literacy to their children, explain sexuality to their children, all kinds of thing. So there is help out there, but it's important to realize that this is a difficult time to be parenting and we need a lot of help.

Learn about: Parents vs. a billion dollar industry selling to your kids from Jean Kilbourne, EdD,...

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Jean Kilbourne, EdD

Author & Social Theorist

Jean Kilbourne is internationally recognized for her groundbreaking work on the image of women in advertising and her critical studies of alcohol and tobacco advertising. Her films, lectures, and television appearances have been seen by millions of people throughout the world. She was named by The New York Times Magazine as one of the three most popular speakers on college campuses...

She is the author of the award-winning book Can’t Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel and So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids. The prize-winning films based on her lectures include Killing Us Softly, Spin the Bottle, and Slim Hopes. She is a frequent guest on radio and television programs, including “The Today Show” and “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” She has served as an advisor to the Surgeon General and has testified for the U.S. Congress. She holds an honorary position as Senior Scholar at the Wellesley Centers for Women.

According to Susan Faludi, “Jean Kilbourne’s work is pioneering and crucial to the dialogue of one of the most underexplored, yet most powerful, realms of American culture —advertising. We owe her a great debt.” A member of the Italian Parliament said, “Hearing Jean Kilbourne is a profound experience. Audiences leave her feeling that they have heard much more than another lecture, for she teaches them to see themselves and their world differently.”

She has received many awards, including the Lecturer of the Year award from the National Association for Campus Activities. A more unusual tribute was paid when an all-female rock group in Canada named itself Kilbourne in her honor.

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