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Advertisement and Adolescent Essay

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  A huge part of being an American is being a consumer. Consumerism is a social and economic order and ideology that encourages the purchase of goods and services. Consumers play an important role in a capitalist society, which we as Americans are a part of. “Capitalism is an economic system in which individuals or private corporations can own and operate the production of goods, make decisions about the price of those goods, and distribute them as they deem appropriate” (Carl 99). “Starting at the young age of two, children are exposed to advertising through different media perspectives. The average child is exposed to over 40,000 TV commercials a year” (Dittmann 58). Due to the fact that Americans of all ages are exposed to advertisements, many Americans believe that they need to buy unnecessary items and think that these material things can buy their happiness in life. Can you honestly say that money and material things make you happy? The truth is, no, money nor materialism can claim your happiness in life. What you do and make of your life is what truly makes you happy.
  First and foremost, if children weren’t exposed to the advertisements that they are here in the United States, they would be happy with the most simplest of things. Before my daughter started watching television, she would be happy playing outside, playing with chalk, even with a plain cardboard box. Now, since many Americans; including my daughter see an advertisement for something they like or see something they like in the store while shopping, they might purchase it without putting much thought into it. Impulse shopping is an unplanned decision to buy a product or service, made just before the purchase. “After young children have seen a commercial just ...


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...eb. 18 Mar. 2014.
Heubeck, Elizabeth. "Girls and Body Image: Media's Effect, How Parents Can Help." WebMD - Better information. Better health. WebMD, LLC, 18 Oct. 2006. Web. 19 Mar. 2014.
McNeal, J. Kids as Customers: A Handbook of Marketing to Children. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, 1992. Print.
Mims, Joan T., Elizabeth M. Nollen, and Delia Cleveland. "Cause and Effect: Champagne Taste, Beer Budget." Mirror on America: Essays and Images from Popular Culture. 5th ed. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martins, 2012. 279-280. Print.
Strasburger, Victor C. "Children, Adolescents, Substance Abuse, and the Media." Pediatrics. American Academy of Pediatrics, 2010. Web. 16 Mar. 2014.
US Department of Health and Human Services. Preventing Tobacco Use Among Young People: Report of the Surgeon General. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1994.
Web. 18 Mar. 2014.


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