Kinderculture: The Corporate Construction of Childhood

Kinderculture: The Corporate Construction of Childhood

Kinderculture: The Corporate Construction of Childhood

Kinderculture: The Corporate Construction of Childhood

Synopsis

Children and their parent's money are subject to an almost constant marketing pitch that sells games, videos, and a large volume of merchandise. The authors examine this modern consciousness changing culture in a multidisciplinary manner.

Excerpt

Shirley R. Steinberg and Joe L. Kincheloe

The them of this book is very simple: New times have ushered in a new era of childhood. Evidence of this dramatic cultural change surrounds each of us, but many individuals have not yet noticed it. Unfortunately, many of the people who make their living studying or caring for children have not recognized this historical watershed. Furthermore, few observers have appreciated the fact that the information explosion so characteristic of our contemporary era has played a central role in undermining traditional notions of childhood. Those who have shaped, directed, and used the information technology of the late twentieth century have played an exaggerated role in the reformulation of childhood. Childhood is a social and historical artifact, not simply a biological entity. Many argue that childhood is a natural phase of growing up, of becoming an adult. The cardinal concept here involves the format of this human phase that has been produced by social, cultural, political, and economic forces operating upon it. Indeed, what is labeled as "a traditional Western childhood" in the last years of the twentieth century is only about 150 years old. In the Middle Ages, for example, children participated daily in the adult world gaining knowledge of vocational and life skills as a result. The concept of children as a particular classification of human beings demanding special treatment differing from adults had not yet developed in the Middle Ages.

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