25 February, 2021

Second-hand Study

A pioneering attempt lost in a borrowed American perspective

Second-hand Study
THE kernel of this book is a field study on the impact of television advertising on school children, conducted over a period of 15 months in Delhi in 1992-93. The sample consisted of 730 children between the ages of five and 15. They were drawn from three economic groups, which are described as a lower-income group, a middle-income group and an upper-income group. The researchers did not ask the children about their parents' income for obvious reasons. They felt that the type of school attended represented their economic status fairly clearly.

Of the upper strata, the researchers found that the children already possess many of the material comforts and consumer items that are advertised on television and that they are, therefore, least in need of them. Nevertheless, clever manipulative advertisements attract them.

The middle-income group is seen as the group on which consumerism has made its greatest impact. Television itself and the goods it advertises are those which give them status and a sense of...

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