The Material Child

Overview

Children today are growing up in an increasingly commercialised world. But should we see them as victims of manipulative marketing, or as competent participants in consumer culture?

The Material Child provides a comprehensive critical overview of debates about children’s changing engagement with the commercial market. It moves from broad overviews of the theory and history of children’s consumption to insightful case studies of key areas such ...

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The Material Child

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Overview

Children today are growing up in an increasingly commercialised world. But should we see them as victims of manipulative marketing, or as competent participants in consumer culture?

The Material Child provides a comprehensive critical overview of debates about children’s changing engagement with the commercial market. It moves from broad overviews of the theory and history of children’s consumption to insightful case studies of key areas such as obesity, sexualisation, children’s broadcasting and education.

In the process, it challenges much of the received wisdom about the effects of advertising and marketing, arguing for a more balanced account that locates children’s consumption within a broader analysis of social relationships, for example within the family and the peer group. While refuting the popular view of children as incompetent and vulnerable consumers that is adopted by many campaigners, it also rejects the easy celebration of consumption as an expression of children’s power and autonomy.

Written by one of the leading international scholars in the field, The Material Child will be of interest to students, researchers and policy-makers, as well as parents, teachers and others who work directly with children.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The Material Child is well-­structured, easy toread and informative ... By using a sociocultural approach,Buckingham highlights the importance of examining the 'wholepicture' rather than just focusing on individual aspects ofconsumption. The Material Child has wide appeal and will beof interest to individuals working in childhood or culturalstudies, education, media, marketing and politics."
Cultural Studies Review

"The Material Child cuts through the sanctimonious moralrhetorics and panics of contemporary life illuminating thecomplexities that have made the child consumer the site ofunrelenting cultural anxiety. With characteristic insightful anddeft analysis, David Buckingham successfully reframes how we mightcomprehend public debates regarding children and the commercialworld and thus how we may forge new responses to ongoing changes ineconomic and social life. This work immediately takes its place inas a standard and must-read for anyone interested in childhood,politics, media and consumer culture."
Daniel Thomas Cook, Rutgers University

"This book represents a timely and most welcome intervention intothe polarised and emotive debates about children and consumerculture. David Buckingham takes us on an authoritative journeythrough the twists and turns of the arguments towards a morenuanced understanding of the complexities of the unequal diverseand relationships children now have with the global commercialmarkets. This book is essential reading for those seeking tounderstand children's experiences of living in contemporarycapitalist societies."
Allison James, University of Sheffield

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745647708
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 10/18/2011
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

David Buckingham is Professor of Education at the Institute of Education, University of London

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Preface
1. Exploited or empowered? Constructing the child consumer
2. Understanding consumption
3. The making of consumers: theory and research on children's consumption
4. Histories of children's consumption
5. The contemporary children's market
6. The fear of fat: obesity, food and consumption
7. Too much, too soon? Marketing, media and the sexualisation of girls
8. Rethinking ‘pester power': children, parents and consumption
9. Beyond ‘peer pressure': consumption and identity in the peer group
10. Screening the market: the case of children's television
11. Consuming to learn - learning to consume: education goes to market
12. Conclusion: living in a material world References

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