Merchants of Cool

Who knows more about teens than their parents, teachers, or even themselves? Who has enough influence to tell teens what's cool, what's not, and what will be in a few months? The answer to these questions is the subject of this insightful documentary, directed by Barak Goodman, about the relationship between teens and the savvy marketers who target them.

These Merchants of Cool are the "creators and sellers of popular culture who have made teenagers the hottest consumer demographic in America." Learn more about them by watching this documentary and by visiting the film's informative website at PBS Frontline.

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And if you want to keep delving into the world of trendsetting and coolspotting, check out the novel So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld. Books are *so* retro.


Here's another one, a bit more academic, on the history of being hip.