"Hyperconsumerism is evident in many spaces, like garages, corners of home offices..."
Photo: A corner office full of papers. Someone has a serious paper buying habit. Silly Americans, buying so much paper. Normal people don't have paper in their home office.
"Of course, Children of all societies have something that is similar to toys, but the sheer quantity of toys is astonishing, from a cross-cultural point of view..."
Photo: Look at all of those Legos! Most children around the world only have one Lego Building Brick. And they LIKE it that way.
"We found in the study that children's toys and objects were in livings rooms, they were in spare bedrooms, they were in their own bedrooms, they were in kitchens, they were even sometimes in master bedrooms."
Photo: Billy! Have you been paying with your piano in the spare bedroom again!? Put that back in your closet where it belongs. And how many times have we told you about not having board games in the family area!
"One of the things we soon realized is that the toys themselves were toys for the parents as well as for the children. The house had a actually had a kind of child culture about it as a whole..."
Photo: Hey, wait! This robot is not actually functional. We have identified a toy in the main room of a house!
"Some of it is nostalgia, right? I mean Snoopy right, he's a cultural icon. How many children actually recognize Snoopy in a contemporary... Snoopy is a fact of, you know, our childhood."
Photo: The study identified inappropriate art.
"The reality is that we're spending perhaps more on children's culture, toys, than ever before, in the history of mankind."
Photo: Cavemen stopped at Shoots and Ladders and generally didn't also buy Apples to Apples. If the family would just spend its time in front of the TV like Australopithecus did, it wouldn't have so much clutter... on its bookshelves... and its bookshelves would be nice and tidy and empty.
I support a lot of what they're saying, but their examples are cherry-picked and, in my opinion, they are often stretching to make their point even with their cherry-picked examples. I cherry-picked from their cherry-picking, of course.
It started with "we went into the homes of 32 family... each family had two parents that both worked outside the home for at least 30 hours a week". Given the same data, I might draw a different conclusion: That Americans work too much. Having too little time, and an un-sought after disposable income, piled up papers in home offices, focused attempts at family time via board games, and buying abundances of toys seem a natural consequence. The study selected dual income families. I'd like to see those 32 families contrasted against 32 single income families. The on-air segment keeps saying "Americans" as if the dual income families are the quintessential American family. No, it's one route people take. Often, married couples never make an arrangement where by they live off of one income, whether out of different priorities, habits, or whatever, and excess disposable income with too little time at home is a common result.