READING GROUP GUIDE
Born to Buy Discussion Points
1. Schor describes a marketing juggernaut of unprecedented size, scope, and sophistication. Why has marketing to children become so much more pervasive and extensive than in the past? What are the major strategies marketers are using in their communications with children?
2. How do you think children are affected by "tweening" (p. 56)? Do you think that children today are maturing at an earlier age? If so, why do you think that is?
3. Schor points out that advertisers have incredible influence over children's views. They are able to promote ideas, like "antiadultism," and manipulate points of view, such as what kids consider "cool." How did forces outside the family become so influential? How can parents regain their central role in educating and advising their children?
4. What do you think about the use of children in developing and marketing potential products? The author discusses some of the unaddressed ethical aspects of using children in this way, but marketers defend their actions, saying they are just trying to make products that kids will like. What about schools' participating in marketing plans? Do you think schools should be marketing-free zones?
5. On page 21, the author describes one marketing company's pitch in which children were represented as wild animals and the advertising companies as the British colonial hunter. Discuss this analogy.