I love the Fourth of July. What I don’t love is walking into Wegman’s in April and flags and red, white, and blue. In the 1950s, most celebrations involved a picnic and some sparklers. Sixty years later, such a practice might be considered cheap, lazy, and unoriginal.
As sociologists, we want to understand why ideas about cultural celebrations change over time. Are the changes motivated by consumers or marketed toward them in compelling ways that all but demand their participation?
Start a discussion about the various social influences we see regarding the Fourth of July and other holidays (Easter, Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day…).
How does marketing, product placement, specialty stores, advertising, etc, shape your experiences with holidays?
Do those influences shape your expectations and experiences around holidays? What strategies (if any) do you employ to help yourself (or your children) navigate such intense pressure (imposing dollar limits, discussing the pressures ahead of time, etc)?