Summary: This Frontline documentary, Merchants of Cool focuses on the energy and resources marketing firms devote to finding what teens collectively decide is the "next big thing" or "cool." The documentary describes these firms as the merchants of cool and suggests that they are doing much more than simply catering to the demands of popular teen culture. They are co-creators of that culture. • Among other uses, the documentary would work well in an introductory sociology class as a means of understanding what culture is and how it works. It might also be used to illustrate the concept of social norms and how social norms can be considered a component of culture.
Submitted By: Lester Andrist