Children, Consumerism, And The Common Good

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Overview

Children, Consumerism, and the Common Good explores the impact of consumer culture on the lives of children in the United States and globally, focusing on two phenomena: advertising to children and child labor. Christian communities have a critical role to play in securing the well-being of children and challenging the cultural trends that undermine that well-being. Themes in the tradition of Catholic social teaching can move us beyond the tensions between children's rights activists and those who propose a return to "family values" and can inform practices of resistance, participation, and transformation. Roche argues that children are full, interdependent members of the communities of which they are a part. They have a claim on the fruits of our common life and are called to participate in that life according to their age and ability. The principle of the common good forms the benchmark for analyzing children's participation in the market and the ways in which market logic shapes other institutions of civil society, particularly educational institutions. The Cristo Rey Network of schools is highlighted as an example of institutional transformation which shapes children's participation in education and the economic life of their families and communities in a spirit of solidarity.

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Editorial Reviews

Intams
With this book, Mary Doyle Roche advances the treatment of children in the field of Christian Ethics. One of the most significatn emergent Roman Catholic scholars focusing on children...her book should shape ethical conversation in the field for years to come.
Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore
Anyone concerned about children’s welfare as laborers and consumers in today’s complicated economic order should read this book. What a rich exemplar of what Catholic social teaching has to offer! With vivid story and well-documented argument, Mary M. Doyle Roche suggests that children must become fuller social participants in sustaining the common good, protected in their vulnerability and included in their wisdom and energy.
James F. Keenan
Mary M. Doyle Roche has written a riveting book, deeply troubling, yet profoundly hopeful. Capturing the vulnerability of children exploited by poverty, sex trafficking, soldiering, and inhuman labor, she investigates the structural manipulation of market related forces as the root cause of contemporary child abuse. Turning to the common good, she offers a fundamental counter strategy to better protect and incorporate the child. Along the way, she makes us attentive to the intrinsic human dignity and evident agency of the child. A beautifully written and compelling work.
Thomas Massaro S.J.
Drawing richly from Christian theological principles and from contemporary global trends, this book offers a perceptive and original analysis of a much neglected topic. Roche’s evident deep concern for the wellbeing of children is matched by the good sense she demonstrates in sorting out contending claims about the appropriate agency of our youngest neighbors in our age of mass consumption. In challenging the boundaries that artificially divide the spheres of public and private, market and family, economy and society, this book makes the unique contribution of vividly charting the lived experience of children in the market culture that shapes our entire world.
INTAMS review
With this book, Mary Doyle Roche advances the treatment of children in the field of Christian Ethics. One of the most significatn emergent Roman Catholic scholars focusing on children...her book should shape ethical conversation in the field for years to come.
INTAMS review: Journal for the Study of Marriage & Spirituality
With this book, Mary Doyle Roche advances the treatment of children in the field of Christian Ethics. One of the most significatn emergent Roman Catholic scholars focusing on children...her book should shape ethical conversation in the field for years to come.
James F. Keenan S.J.
Mary M. Doyle Roche has written a riveting book, deeply troubling, yet profoundly hopeful. Capturing the vulnerability of children exploited by poverty, sex trafficking, soldiering, and inhuman labor, she investigates the structural manipulation of market related forces as the root cause of contemporary child abuse. Turning to the common good, she offers a fundamental counter strategy to better protect and incorporate the child. Along the way, she makes us attentive to the intrinsic human dignity and evident agency of the child. A beautifully written and compelling work.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739129470
  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Publication date: 9/17/2009
  • Pages: 158
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary M. Doyle Roche is assistant professor and Edward Bennett Williams Fellow in the Department of Religious Studies at the College of the Holy Cross.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction: Children in a Peaceable Kingdom Chapter 2 Chapter One. Reading the Signs of the Times: Consumer Culture and the Commercialization of Childhood Chapter 3 Chapter Two. Children's Rights and Family Values Chapter 4 Chapter Three. Children and the Common Good Chapter 5 Chapter Four. A Model of Resistance and Transformation: The Cristo Rey Story Chapter 6 Conclusion: Keeping Christmas Well

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