Edited By Julie C. Garlen and Jennifer A. Sandlin
Part Three: Teaching Consumers
Teaching Consumers p a r t t h r e e Yes, I will admit it. I was a proud member of the Mickey Mouse Club. I had a Mickey Mouse Membership pin, Mouseketeer ears, and a Mouseketeer Member t-shirt. I was, indeed, a card-carrying member. The Mickey Mouse Club was on television weekdays from 1955–1959 and then in syndication from 1962–1968. I was happy to belong to the club. Bauman (2000) comments on this feeling of wanting to belong that is so often tied to consuming: Inside their temples the shoppers/consumers may find moreover, what they zealously, yet in vain, seek outside: the comforting feeling of belonging—the reassuring feeling of being part of a community. (p. 99) The original series featured a memorable all-white cast. Jimmy Dodd, who wrote the theme song (Dodd, 1955), was the host and head Mouseketeer. He spoke words of inspiration and morality to eager young viewers. Big Roy, whom Walt Disney apparently picked for the show because he was big and funny looking, was the adult Mouseketeer. Among the most memorable Mouseketeers were Annette Funicello, who went on to become a beach icon in films with Frankie Avalon, Cubby O’Brien, who became a drummer for the Carpenters, and Bobbie Burgess, who later danced his way to fame on the Lawrence Welk Show. Most of the profits from the Mickey Mouse Club went into funding the development of Disneyland. In the 1950s, Disney also produced the television program, Disneyland, which had the...
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