This Little Kiddy Went to Market investigates the way that corporations are strategically shaping children to be hyperconsumers, submissive employees, and passive, unquestioning citizens as well as feeding a burgeoning pharmaceutical industry by ensuring children who cannot be shaped are given a psychiatric diagnosis.
It covers the way that corporations are targeting ever younger children with a barrage of advertising and marketing; the way that children’s play has been turned into a commercial opportunity; and how corporations have taken advantage of childish anxieties and insecurities, and reshaped children’s very identities. It shows how school funding shortages have opened the door to an influx of corporate materials into schools aimed at inculcating consumer and business values.
The book analyses school reforms in English-speaking nations to uncover the hidden agendas behind them including: shifting of responsibility for the consequences of funding shortages to school management; turning schools into competing business enterprises where children are drilled and constantly tested; producing submissive employees with basic literacy and numeracy skills rather than developing an informed active citizenry with critical thinking skills; enabling businesses to take control of more and more aspects of schooling; and eroding the ideal and reality of public schooling.
‘A chilling assessment of modern commercial culture and how it distorts childhood, corrupts civic
institutions, and endangers the planet.’
Alex Molnar, Professor of Education Policy, Arizona State University
Professor Sharon Beder
has written 10 books, around 150 articles, book chapters and conference papers, as well as educational monographs, consultancy reports and teaching res9urces. Her research has focussed on how power relationships are maintained and challenged, particularly by corporations and professions. Her books, some of which have been translated into other languages, include:
- Global Spin: The Corporate Assault on Environmentalism (Green Books, Devon, UK and Scribe, Melbourne, 1997, 2002)
- Power Play: The Fight for Control of the World's Electricity (Scribe, Melbourne and New Press, New York, 2003)
- Selling the Work Ethic: From Puritan Pulpit to Corporate PR (Zed Books, London and Scribe, Melbourne, 2000)
- Suiting Themselves: How Corporations Drive the Global Agenda (Earthscan, London, 2006)
- Environmental Principles and Policies (UNSW Press, Sydney and Earthscan, London, 2006)
- Free Market Missionaries: The Corporate Manipulation of Community Values (Earthscan, London, 2006)
Dr Wendy Varney is an honorary fellow in the Institute of Environmental Sustainability at the University of NSW. Her doctoral thesis on the social shaping and commodification of children’s manufactured toys. She has written two books on other topics as well as a number of articles and book chapters on the marketing and commercialisation of toys and the consequences for children’s play. Wendy has frequently been interviewed on children, toys and consumption on TV, radio and in newspapers.
Dr Richard Gosden did his doctoral thesis on psychiatric controversies over the cause of the symptoms of schizophrenia. He has written a number of articles on the early treatment of schizophrenia, psychiatry and human rights, and the use of psychiatry in social control. He was originally trained in advertising. He has wide media experience. He is the author of: