Kids Rule!: Nickelodeon and Consumer Citizenship

By Utell, Janine | Journal of American Culture (Malden, MA), June 2008 | Go to article overview

Kids Rule!: Nickelodeon and Consumer Citizenship


Utell, Janine, Journal of American Culture (Malden, MA)


Kids Rule!: Nickelodeon and Consumer Citizenship Sarah Banet-Weiser. Durham: Duke University Press, 2007.

Geraldine Laybourne, former president of kids' cable channel Nickelodeon and oft-quoted personage in the pages of Sarah Banet-Weiser's new book, said of the early days of the network, "Nickelodeon decided to do what nobody else was doing-raise a banner for kids and give them a place on television that they could call their own ... In January 1985, we relaunched as a network dedicated to empowering kids, a place where kids could take a break and get a break" (qtd. in Banet-Weiser 82). Kids Rule!: Nickelodeon and Consumer Citizenship attempts to tell the story of the channel from the moment of its relaunch in 1985 to its place as a global media power and seminal cultural brand in the early years of the twentyfirst century. In so doing, Banet-Weiser considers the impact consumer citizenship has had on the way we as a society conceptualize rights, power, civic duty and engagement-and, most specifically, childhood and the position of children as citizens and consumers.

Banet-Weiser's argument is that Nickelodeon, through a carefully constructed brand and deliberately honed marketing strategy, transformed itself from a "green vegetable" network offering pedagogy-based programming to young children, into a space, a "nation," devoted to the empowerment of kids. Through this process, the network claimed a mantle for itself as the purveyor of agency for the traditionally disenfranchised youth population, while also building a global media empire. By buying into the Nick brand, kids claim participatory citizenship in a public sphere defined by consumer culture, rather than liberal civic-mindedness and action. Nickelodeon is thus post-Habermasian, in addition to being postfeminist, postrace, postmodern; the civic self is determined by the marketplace, and cultural and national identity is about purchasing power. In such a realm, kids have just as much power, if not more, than anyone.

Nickelodeon, therefore, serves as a case through which to examine the ways consumer citizenship offers a new model for agency and empowerment, particularly for children, who are often excluded from civic life. In building this case, Banet-Weiser conducted interviews with industry insiders, including former employees of Nickelodeon; additionally, she interviewed fifty children, ages eight to thirteen, all of varying ethnic backgrounds, all of the middle class. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Kids Rule!: Nickelodeon and Consumer Citizenship
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.