Academic journal article Journal of Australian Political Economy

Sharon Beder, with Wendy Varney and Richard Gosden: This Little Kiddy Went to Market: The Corporate Capture of Childhood

Academic journal article Journal of Australian Political Economy

Sharon Beder, with Wendy Varney and Richard Gosden: This Little Kiddy Went to Market: The Corporate Capture of Childhood

Article excerpt

Sharon Beder, with Wendy Varney and Richard Gosden

This Little Kiddy Went to Market: the Corporate Capture of Childhood

UNSW Press, Sydney, 2009, 307 pp., $39.95.

Sharon Beder has written extensively about corporate power and propaganda, as well as about environmental policy issues. Here she teams up with Richard Gosden and with Wendy Varney, who has been researching and writing about the commercialisation of childhood for many years (including an article in issue no. 33 of this journal). Together they have written a devastating analysis of how corporate interests undermine children's well being.

Diverse interconnected angles are covered. A starting point is how corporations target children with advertising in order to turn them into 'hyper consumers' and transform children's play into commercial opportunities. Emphasis is also put on how schools are used for the diffusion of corporate messages. The authors argue that schools themselves have been turned into competing business enterprises, as reductions in government funding of public schools have shifted educational goals from quality to 'efficiency'. Standardised testing is one manifestation of this tendency. …

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