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The Purpose of College: Time to Grow Up May 31, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Victoria Lee @ 8:05 pm

Upon high school graduation, my peers and I have heard the phrase over and over again. “These next four years are going to be the best years of your life.” I never really had a grasp on what that meant. Why would four years of going to school be so great? The weeks leading up to the first day of school were full of a mutual anticipation between everyone that was going off to college. The only issue was, I didn’t know what it was we were anticipating, and to be honest, I know it wasn’t sitting in a class room. Up until this point, I had been used to sitting in classrooms and learning a share of useless information that I knew I would forget as soon as I crossed the stage at graduation. While some students have trouble comprehending the true purpose of going to college, their parents always appear as if they know the exact reason why their kids are embarking on this quest, after all, why would they pay so much money for it and not know why?

A very apparent reason for attending college is to expand our knowledge in an assortment of subjects. The mission statement of DePaul says that the school “pursues the preservation, enrichment, and transmission of knowledge and culture across a broad scope of academic disciplines.” Of course this general goal will be apart of every colleges mission, this makes perfect sense, but this cannot be the only reason why college students end up where they are. College offers a time and a place for maturing and finding out what we truly feel is important to us. It is at this time when we find our true independence and the experience that comes along with it is just as important.

“To become a more mature person is to grow intellectually, to form guiding values, to become knowledgeable about oneself, and to develop social, interpersonal skills.” (Heath 4) While what we learn in class may contribute to our advancement toward a higher level of intellect, most of these aspects are taught and learned outside of the classroom. We learn about ourselves through our interactions with our peers. Some of my best arguments have been between myself and a friend rather than in a persuasive essay for a class. These sort of interactions between students are even more prevalent in college because everyone is living so closely together. Friendships in college are arguably the most important and long term friendships that we will have (Berry 1) and some may even go as far to say that the friends we have during our lifetime are far more important than any amount of facts that we know or what jobs we have.

Once we get to college, we’re suddenly expected to become our own boss. We learn how to manage our time in a completely different way than what was normal in the past (Berry 1). We essentially learn how to go about our daily lives without our parents guiding us day to day. This isn’t to say that those who don’t go to college never learn how to survive without their parents, but college speeds up the process and condenses it into a four year span. It’s almost frightening how quick college students are expected to adapt to a completely different life on their own. Students are already supporting themselves through part time jobs while paying rent during their sophomore year. Without having parents around to tie up loose ends or help manage time, students in college are able to develop a sense of independence. There is also a feeling of satisfaction when a student can finally fall into a schedule that works for them.

The maturing that takes place while in college can be a direct result of the learning that takes place through the education provided at that school. Heath argues that “education remains the principal institutional agent for promoting the the growth of young people in contemporary society.” While these can be considered high expectations to fulfill, many parents believe that their children will become adults while they are in college, and students have that same assumption. Since it is such a common standard, it is a big issue when a school doesn’t reach it’s standards. There are increasingly large numbers of students who are in, or have been to, college and think that it has failed in it’s implied task to produce compelling maturing effects (Heath 2). There becomes an issue of “empty academicism,” which implies that no matter what students are learning in the classroom, if it’s not contributing to their growth and maturity, then it is ineffective and nearly counter-productive. Students who feel that their college experience provided them with empty academicism have gone as far as to boycott their classes in order to “liberate” the university (Heath 2). While there is an agreement among many students that every university is entitled to provide them with a learning experience that involves more than just academics, there is a question of what exactly they should be taught.

Heath considers man’s most important cultivated skills to be judgment, analytic and synthetic thinking, logical reasoning and imaginativeness. Once a person has acquired these skills, their future is thought to be limitless. “For most educators, the measure of becoming educated is the extent to which a person has developed and perfected such skills,” (Heath 4). After being in college for nearly an entire school year, I have found that there are some teachers that challenge students into developing these skills, and there are some that don’t. The difference is quite obvious. There are classes that involve analyzing on our own, reasoning with our peers and using our imagination, and then there are classes that involve listening to a professor ramble on and on for an hour and a half while no one pays any attention. These same classes are the ones that I have taken very little away from, even academically speaking. “But college should be a time we develop a life plan for ourselves where we examine beliefs and whats important to us.” (McManus)

When a class is lacking in elements that it takes to mature in college, then what is really learned in that class? Math formulas and vocabulary words will only be a faint memory when we’re adults, but what will stick with us are the skills that we need to use on a daily basis, because they are necessary.

Sources

Heath, Douglas H. Growing Up In College: Liberal Education and Maturity. Jossey – Bass Inc., Publishers, San Francisco, 1968.

Berry, Dave.  “The First Year College Experience”  College Confidential. <http://www.collegeconfidential.com/college_life/first_year.htm&gt;

McManus, Andrea Silva.  “Finding Purpose in College:  A Journey of Meaning Making” Castleton Spartan. 31 January 2007.  <http://media.www.castletonspartan.com/media/storage/paper1017/news/2007/01/31/Opinion/Finding.Purpose.In.College.A.Journey.Of.Meaning.Making-2681424.shtml&gt;

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Rough Draft: The Purpose of College May 17, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Victoria Lee @ 5:03 am

Upon high school graduation, my peers and I have heard the phrase over and over again. “These next four years are going to be the best years of your life.” I never really had a grasp on what that meant. Why would four years of going to school be so great? The weeks leading up to the first day of school were full of a mutual anticipation between everyone that was going off to college. The only issue was, I didn’t know what it was we were anticipating, and to be honest, I know it wasn’t sitting in a class room. While some students have trouble comprehending the true purpose of going to college, their parents always appear as if they know the exact reason why their kids are embarking on this quest, after all, why would they pay so much money for it and not know why?

A very apparent reason for attending college is to expand our knowledge in an assortment of subjects. The mission statement of DePaul says that the school “pursues the preservation, enrichment, and transmission of knowledge and culture across a broad scope of academic disciplines.” Of course this general goal will be apart of every colleges mission, this makes perfect sense, but this cannot be the only reason why college students end up where they are. College offers a time and a place for maturing and finding out what we truly feel is important to us. It is at this time when we find our true independence and the experience that comes along with it is just as important.

“To become a more mature person is to grow intellectually, to form guiding values, to become knowledgeable about oneself, and to develop social, interpersonal skills.” (Heath 4) What we learn in class may contribute to our advancement toward a higher level of intellect, most of these aspects are taught and learned outside of the classroom. We learn about ourselves through our interactions with our peers. Some of my best arguments have been between myself and a friend rather than in a persuasive essay for a class. These sort of interactions between students are even more prevalent in college because everyone is living so closely together. Friendships in college are arguably the most important and long term friendships that we will have (Berry 1) and some may even go as far to say that the friends we have during our lifetime are far more important than any amount of facts that we know or what jobs we have.

Once we get to college, we’re suddenly expected to become our own boss. We learn how to manage our time in a completely different way than what was normal in the past (Berry 1). We essentially learn how to go about our daily lives without our parents guiding us day to day. This isn’t to say that those who don’t go to college never learn how to survive without their parents, but college speeds up the process and condenses it into a four year span. It’s almost frightening how quick college students are expected to adapt to a completely different life on their own. Students are already supporting themselves through part time jobs while paying rent during their sophomore year. Without having parents around to tie up loose ends or help manage time, students in college are able to develop a sense of independence. There is also a feeling of satisfaction when a student can finally fall into a schedule that works for them.

The maturing that takes place while in college can be a direct result of the learning that takes place through the education provided at that school. Heath argues that “education remains the principal institutional agent for promoting the the growth of young people in contemporary society.” While these can be considered high expectations to fulfill, many parents believe that their children will become adults while they are in college, and students have that same assumption. Since it is such a common standard, it is a big issue when a school doesn’t reach it’s standards. There are increasingly large numbers of students who are in, or have been to, college and think that it has failed in it’s implied task to produce compelling maturing effects (Heath 2). There becomes an issue of “empty academicism,” which implies that no matter what students are learning in the classroom, if it’s not contributing to their growth and maturity, then it is ineffective and nearly counter-productive.

 

Tricks are for Kids May 10, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Victoria Lee @ 7:25 am

When targeted at children, the effective media proves to shape and alter the way a child’s mind thinks. The controversial advertising business is often accused of taking advantage of children in that they are too young to be considered an economic subject. These advertisements are often the blame of issues like childhood obesity while the entire family can also bear the effects of advertising aimed at children as they can be very expensive independents. The advertisement industry’s intention to capture the minds of all children as consumers is a questionable one. Regulations have been put into affect in other countries to keep advertisements directed at children off the air entirely, while in America, groups are attempting to do the same.

The ethics and morals associated with the media and children are often questioned by critics. It is stressed that kids are not yet capable of adapting the true objective of these ads.(Baran 334) Yet, the ads children see have an enormous effect on their development.(Clay 1) Advertisers are using psychological techniques to capture the eyes and ears of the child consumer. In the past, the most effective way to advertise children’s products was to target the parents. Now, the marketing techniques have been flipped around so that every ad is aimed at kids, including products that aren’t even meant for them.(MediaWise) It is understood among advertisers that children influence the purchase of every sort of product, not just toys and candy. Toothpaste, soap and even car ads are altered to appeal to children because of their effect on what their parents buy.(MediaWise)

The reach of ads have also contributed to the consuming habits of kids today. The industry takes advantage of schools who are suffering financially to offer cash or products in return for a place to display their ad inside of the school.(Cross 121) Television advertising is a concern because it reaches this easily influenced audience inside their own home while there is little to no parental supervision.(Baran 334) TV usually presents children with their first exposure to media and remains the most popular form of entertainment.(Berkman 210) Motion pictures are more compelling than still pictures in attracting and keeping their attention.(ibid) Children respond well to ads that announce new products or show someone demonstrating the product.(ibid) By three years old, they are watching five to forty-two hours per week, and children of low income families tend to watch more television than the more affluent child.(ibid)

As consumers, children’s money managing and purchasing are developed quite early.(Berkman 209) In a study including five-, seven-, and nine-year-olds, it was observed that the youngest age group understood that money could be used to buy things, but their interest in it was lacking. The seven-year-olds involved in the study all received a regular allowance, leading them to develop food preferences and an interest in toys. By nine, these children were practicing consumers, in that they spent their money from allowance to buy the products they wanted, instead of asking parents for them. (Berkman 210) While children learn the central elements of consumption from their families, they seem to learn other representative functions of products from the media and their peers.(Ibid)

Brand loyalty is more prevalent among older children with a higher economic status. The most significant preferences for brand names are associated with food products and soap.(Ibid) Brand loyalty seems to cultivate earliest for simple, inexpensive products. The average American child sees about 40,000 advertisements a year, the majority of them representing candy, cereal and fast food.(Baran 334) When children are exposed to commercial after commercial containing images of other kids eating happy meals or munching cocoa puffs, there is no doubt that this will influence their eating habits.

The rapid increase in childhood obesity in America has caused much concern from health officials. During the same period when obesity among children skyrocketed, in 2000, there was also a significant increase in media directed towards children.(Issue Brief 1) The assumptions made about the media’s contributions to childhood obesity are agreed upon by pediatricians, child development experts and media researchers and seem to be quite accurate. An obvious indicator that media carries part of the blame is the time that children spend using media replaces the time that could be spent going outside or partaking in physical activities.(Issue Brief 2) Studies have found that children that watch more than three hours of television a day are 50 percent more likely to become overweight.(MediaWise) There is also a concern with the amount of food commercials that promote unhealthy food choices and television shows that depict nutrition and body weight in a way that encourages children to develop a less healthy diet.(ibid) Children tend to snack excessively while watching TV, and those snacks generally lack in nutrition.(ibid) On top of the unhealthy habits that TV promotes, watching television slows down children’s metabolic rates below what they would be even if they were sleeping. (ibid) Now, more than ever, are children using the internet and watching TV in the privacy of their own rooms where there is no parental supervision on the content of anything the child sees.(Dittmann 1) “The lack of adult interpretation is a concern because young children tend to accept ads as fair, accurate, balanced and truthful.”(ibid) For children to fully comprehend ads, they must be able to distinguish the difference between commercial and noncommercial content and to identify the persuasive intentions of advertisements.(Dittmann 2) A method that contributes to the advertisers purpose is the psychological research they do in order to steal the attention of children everywhere. They aim to convince children that they absolutely need a product and that they should nag their parents until they purchase it for them.(ibid) They are taught that Trix are for themselves, and no one else, so they must have them.

Cereal commercials make up a significant amount of ads directed towards kids. Cereals such as Fruit Loops and Trix are among the many products that are extremely high in sugar and low in nutritional value.(Cross 120) Many parents report that children would rather stay in to watch TV or play video games, rather than going outside or playing with other children. “Sometimes, the only physical activity that children experience is the movement produced by pressing the remote control button of the TV, Nintendo, or Gameboy.”(Cross 120) Children tend to accompany their parents to the grocery store and have a significant say in what is being purchased through suggestion and brand choice. Their influence usually varies with the product, therefore cereal purchases are more dependent on children, rather than something like detergent.(ibid) Kids are most likely to ask for cereals, meats and snacks. The reason for doing so is a response to ads promising the protruding muscles that are preferred by boys, or the clear complexions and trim figures that are favored by girls.(Cross 121)

Children effect family consumption in a variety of ways. Kids are dependents that rely on their parents for long-term needs which are anticipated to get very expensive. The average cost of raising a child from birth to college today accumulates to $188,949 for a boy and $200,713 for a girl.(Berkman 207) When a child becomes older, their preferences are commonly taken into consideration when major purchases are being discussed. Family consumption is also effected by children because they too are independent consumers that buy specific items on their own. Their purchases become larger as they grow older.(ibid)

It’s no surprise that parents are recognizing the exploitation of their children through strong mediums. It is a subject that is much cause for attention, resulting in specific restrictions. Regulations on advertising aimed at children have advanced greatly over the past couple of years. In the UK, Denmark, Greece and Belgium, advertising to children is restricted and in Quebec, Sweden and Norway, it is illegal to direct ads to children under twelve years old.(Wikipedia) Action for Children’s Television was an organization that existed from 1968 through 1992 dedicated to regulating the advertisements that were aimed at kids. Their first target was a children’s show titled Romper Room that was strongly focused on the promotion of their line of toys.(ibid) Throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s, the organization was dedicated to banning ads aimed at children that were too young to understand the concept of selling and who lack in media literacy skills. ACT was able to threaten the station with the FCC and they were forced to cut back on the pitching of their products during the show.(ibid) The Children’s Television Act of 1990 was a result of the ACT’s efforts in that it set formal guidelines concerning children’s programming. It includes rules administering advertisements content and quality.(ibid)

More recently, the American Psychological Association(APA) has supported a Task Force’s request for stricter regulations on ads geared to kids. Along with the American Academy of Pediatrics, their plan is to restrict advertising targeted to children eight years old and younger. They are also fighting for conducting more research showing the influence advertising has on young children.(Dittmann 2)

Many argue that advertising targeted at children exploits them and threatens to alter their future because of their effects on childhood. Whether or not the intention of the advertiser’s is to corrupt the adolescent mind, it still proves to be a serious issue that concerns many. Viewing a child as a consumer maybe an idea that parents and many others are not comfortable with, yet advertisers view the child consumer as a vital part of their audience. With the advertising industry spending over $12 billion dollars a year on ads targeting children, the power of persuasion is a hard one to break.

Baran, Stanley J. Introduction to Mass Communication: Media Literacy and Culture,

Higher Education, 2008.

Berkman, Harold W. Gilson, Christopher C. Consumer Behavior: Concepts and Strategies,

Dickenson Publishing Company, Inc., 1978.

Clay, Rebecca A. “Advertising to Children: Is it Ethical?” Monitor on Psychology, 8 September 2000. <http://www.apa.org/monitor/sep00/advertising.html>

Cross, Mary. Advertising and Culture, Praeger, 1996.

Dittmann, Melissa. Protecting Children From Advertising, Volume 35, No. 6 June 2004

“Advertising and Childhood Obesity” Science Daily, 26 May 2007.

<http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070525205437.htm>

“Children and Advertising,” Media Wise, 8 July 2002. <http://www.mediafamily.org/facts/facts_childadv.shtml&gt;

“The Role of Media in Childhood Obesity” Issue Brief, February 2004.

<http://www.kff.org/entmedia/upload/The-Role-Of-Media-in-Childhood-Obesity.pdf>

“Advertising Regulation,” Wikipedia.

 

Research Project Proposal April 26, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Victoria Lee @ 6:30 am

My research question: What are the effects of advertising on children and what are the specific methods that advertisers use to turn kids into consumers?

I’m not sure if advertisements are aimed at children more now then they used to when I was a kid, but it seems as though children today are being targeted as primary consumers for a wide variety of products.  In completing this research project, I hope to learn about the results that advertisers aim for when targeting kids and how they go about doing this.  I also intend on finding whether these methods can be considered ethical or controversial and if there are any rules or regulations concerning this type of advertising.

I’m in Advertising and Public Relations, so when I thought of a topic that relates to my major, this was the first thing to come to mind.  Choosing a broad topic was no problem, but I was faced with many options as to how to narrow it down.  Even now, I still want to cover a lot of ideas within the research paper.  There’s a psychology aspect to the subject when it comes the the tricks that advertisers use to manipulate kids, but there is also a question of how moral these tricks are and how parents get involved in making sure their child doesn’t become too caught up in consumerism.

I feel as though people are well aware of deceptive advertisements.  Ads essentially decide what is beautiful and have multiple mediums to spread that message.  While many are familiar with this, once children get involved, I suspect that controversy over advertisers intensifies because they are only dependents that are still developing their own way of thinking.

I think this topic can be considered relevant to many different audiences.  Parents would find interest in the effects that advertisers have on children because they have the ability to filter what their children look at, so developing some sort of opinion on the subject would assist parents in deciding what children should and shouldn’t be exposed to.  This could also aim at workers in the ad industry, or those who aspire to, in that it can give them a different perspective and possibly an idea of how they want to go about their career morally.

precis

Clay, Rebecca A. “Advertising to Children: Is it ethical?” Monitor on Psychology. American Psychological Association, September 2000, Vol 31,No. 8 page 52.

In this article, Rebecca Clay suggests that advertising aimed at children is unethical.  The article uses many different studies done by psychologists to show the methods that advertisers use to manipulate children.  Her goal is to expose the advertising industry for unethical practices in order to inform parents that it is corrupting the youth of today.

Committee on Communications.  “Children, Adolescents and Advertising.” American Academy of Pediatrics. <http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/pediatrics;95/2/295.pdf&gt;

This article implies that advertising is one of the most powerful forces in American culture.  It uses many statistics to focus on the different products that are pressed on kids through commercials and the behaviors of children that can be caused by these ads.  The article gives a fairly unbiased perspective on this type of advertising in order to provide information that may benefit someone studying, or with a career in, mass communication.

Young, Lauren.  “Children, Advertising and Target: Why kids wants so much.”  Working Parents, Bloomberg Businessweek.  June 19, 2009.  <http://www.businessweek.com/careers/workingparents/blog/archives/2009/06/almost_all_the.html&gt;

This article suggests that mass consumerism result in American children wanting and getting more than those in other countries.  This author uses her experiences and observations from living inside and outside of the United States.  She puts an emphasis on the differences between the children in the Netherlands and in the US in order to show that American children are growing up in a very materialistic and consumer-based culture.  This article is aimed at American parents.

 

Research Question April 21, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Victoria Lee @ 5:22 am

What are the effects of advertising on children?

 

Interrupted Reading 2 April 7, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Victoria Lee @ 6:42 am

Interrupted Reading by Jean Baptiste-Camille Corot is a painting of a woman who has become distracted from reading the novel in her hand. While everyone has their own opinion of what this woman is thinking of, and there is no way to determine what the correct answer is, I believe that the Art Institute’s analysis of the painting is far from what Corot had intended. It implies that Corot had fascination with depressed women, however, whether or not this is true doesn’t have much to do with the actual meaning of the painting. To me, the woman in the painting doesn’t even look depressed. Instead, it looks as if she is simply daydreaming about something of little importance.

This painting is so ambiguous that Corot couldn’t have possibly intended for every person who viewed it to interpret it the same. It almost seems as if the woman in the painting has a slight smile on her face. After observing this, I began to wonder what she could possibly be smiling about. I was reminded of the Mona Lisa. Interpretations of the Mona Lisa are based on the mood and emotion that she is portraying, but it’s difficult to conclude what those emotions actually are. The lack of information about the painting cause viewers to create a unique interpretation and may cause frustration for someone who has a problem accepting ambiguity.

Since it was difficult to find information on the internet that included different perspectives on Interrupted Reading, I chose to look into another piece of art that shared a similarity with it but is popular and has sparked more discussion.

Bradley, David. Ambiguity in Art, Sciencebase. 2010. <http://www.sciencebase.com/ambiguity-in-art.html&gt;

Corots in the Art Institute

M. C.

Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago (1907-1951), Vol. 18, No. 8 (Nov., 1924), pp. 99-102

Published by: The Art Institute of Chicago

 

Interrupted Reading April 5, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Victoria Lee @ 6:39 am

1)  RasMarley.  “Corot, Jean Baptiste Camille (1796-1875) – 1865-70 Interrupted Reading”  February 6, 2009http://www.flickr.com/photos/32357038@N08/3258699139

The writer of this essay implies that Corot progressed from one style of painting to another throughout his lifetime, resulting in a collection of works with varying styles.  He begins with some background on the artist and then uses a facts derived from historians to explain the art of Corot.  His article includes factual information accompanied by observations of his artwork in order to show the advances that the artist made throughout his career.  This article includes factual information on the artist himself, making it an essay that would appeal to those interested in art history.

2) Corot, Jean-Baptiste Camille (1796-1875).  The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather guide,http://www.credoreference.com.ezproxy1.lib.depaul.edu/entry/heliconhe/corot_jean_baptiste_camille_1796_1875

This article claims that any one of Corot’s work can be considered one of either nature, landscape or religion.  The author takes a few of Corot’s paintings, and then describes how each of them could it into one of these three groups, while also including how they were viewed and interpreted at a given time.  This article provides details about specific works of the artist in order to demonstrate how influential Jean-Baptiste Corots art is, especially during impressionism.  This article could be geared toward art interpreters and those who study era’s of art.

3)The Columbia Encyclopedia, Corot, Jean-Baptiste Camille.  2008,http://www.credoreference.com.ezproxy1.lib.depaul.edu/entry/columency/corot_jean_baptiste_camille

The author of this article implies that Jean-Baptiste Corot is able to capture many different types of landscapes within his works that can be related to his surroundings.  He describes all of the settings that Corot has traveled to and lived in, and then links these locations with the art, including Interrupted Reading,  that he created while he was there.  The author includes these comparisons in his article in order to proclaim that his work was directly related to his surroundings at any given time.  This essay is aimed at those who are interested in art history and interpretation.