Smarter than Me: Commercialism Fighters

Participants in my workshops, my friends and my family all know that I the first to admit that I am not the brightest bulb in the chandelier. There are gaps in my analyses, holes in my logic and challenges to my theory, not to mention dilemmas with my own practice; let me acknowledge that right now. Since I know that, its my obligation to call forth those whose thinking and actions are more powerful, significant or substantive than my own. Since my Youth Marketing Blogs Tangent #3 I’ve become marginally consumed (yes, pun) with digesting as much information as I can about that topic. Some of you may know this is just a continuation of earlier work. Anyhow, here are some recent finds:

In The Corporate Assault on Youth: Commercialism, Exploitation, and the End of Innocence, editor Deron Boyles compiles more than a dozen essays examing how youth marketers are disintegrating our social fabric by pretending to serve the greater good. Pow! Its really a primer on how, where, why and when young people are targeted, and without demeaning youth or promoting patriarchial protectionism, the authors clearly demand change.

Commercial Childhood, or to ‘Serve’ Kids” – In their blog called “Puerile Phsyche” Meade has one post that takes apart the popular consumerism message, eating up the youth marketers’ targeting of children with a Marx-centered analysis acknowledging the broad influences of adultism on young people today.

Reel Grrls – A youth-driven media literacy organization based in Seattle, my friend and ally Adrienne Wiley-Thomas has been on their board for several years. Along with many groups across the U.S., Reel Grrls teaches young women the truth about what the media is selling them; different is the fact that they center their works on with pro-feminist messages. I like their focus, and everytime I see any of their productions I’m blown away.
All of this is to say that I appreciate the work of the people I know, admire, and otherwise want to learn from. These are some of the places where my best thinking occurs- in reading, watching, and otherwise absorbing the work of others. Keep up the hard work, please!
Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to Learn more at!

Published by Adam

For almost two decades, Adam F. C. Fletcher has led international outreach focused on engaging people successfully. Working with thousands of youth-serving nonprofits, K-12 schools, government agencies, international NGOs and other organizations around the world, his work spans the fields of education, public health, economic development and social services, and includes professional development, public speaking, publishing, social media and more. He founded the Freechild Institute for Youth Engagement, SoundOut and CommonAction, as well as writing more than 50 publications and 500 articles. He has also established 150-plus community empowerment projects.

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