Communication and Humanities
Hardwired: An Analysis of Television Advertising and Children


Hardwired: An Analysis of Television Advertising and Children


Angelina Miconi



Angelina Miconi, COM450: Communication and Society
Faculty Mentor(s): Professor Michael Niman, Communication

This project examines the complex relationship between children and television. My research provides insight into the ways television advertising influences the behavior, emotions, interests, values, morals, mental health, and learning processes of children. This study focuses on the United States of America specifically because consumerism plays a central and unique role in its culture. There are many reasons why United States consumer culture is so central to its culture. By analyzing children, who are the seeds of the future, we gain insight about the future thought process of adult consumers. My work focuses on how advertising that targets children through television influences their self-esteem and social position. For example, it details how a child's understanding of sex and gender are developed through toy commercials. It argues that television advertising and product placement trains children to relate certain brands to their understanding of social classes, and subcultures. Similarly, it explains how these consumerist ideologies are perpetuated by school systems. Finally, my research reveals how advertising culture promotes the values of hedonistic capitalism hidden under a veil of fun, entertainment, and instant gratification. Children's use of television constructs their understanding of the world around them. The purpose of this research is to reflect on who children are as consumers, and why.

Streaming Media

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Hardwired: An Analysis of Television Advertising and Children