Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2006

Capstone Advisor

Associate Dean Clint Tankersley

Honors Reader

Professor Tridib Mazumdar

Capstone Major


Capstone College


Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories


Subject Categories

Management Sciences and Quantitative Methods | Marketing


Fads have the ability to consume our attention and cause us to defy our better judgments. They have the power to pervade society with an intensity that rivals the infectiousness of an epidemic. Despite the influence of this phenomenon, there is no systematic assessment of the emergence of fads and their impacts on society. This thesis, “Fads and Children: The Early Culture of Consumption,” examines the effects of fads on children and families. This project begins by highlighting the fundamental characteristics of fads and how fads differ from traditional products. Since a discussion of the entire subject of fads would be overwhelming, this thesis focuses on fads as they pertain to a particular segment of the society. The children’s demographic was selected because of its potential as a dynamic market. This demographic is chosen also because of the increased susceptibility of children to fad activity. Children are known for their desire for the newest items and their perception of fads as the key to popularity and increased self worth. When compared to previous generations, children also possess greater spending power and purchasing influence. As a result of heightened competition and the potential benefits that can be generated from the children’s market, some marketers are prone to adopt potentially unethical approaches to reach children with their fad items. Although the methods of reaching children with fads and traditional products are the same, the impacts on children are dramatically different. Therefore, it is important to study how practices associated with marketing fads may influence children and the broader society. As a consequence of greater purchasing power on the part of children, more invasive marketing tactics, and the potential guilt and indulgence by parents, children are more inclined to exhibit feelings of narcissism, entitlement, and over-indulgence. Recommendations are included in this thesis in order to minimize the likelihood of these consequences.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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