“The advertising and marketing industry spends over $17 billion a year on shaping our children’s identities and desires.”
Below is an excellent article discussing the influence of media and money in “commodifying” of children in our modern culture. The article itself is very long so I’ve excerpted pieces of it below with a link at the bottom to the original source. Enjoy!
As we face difficult economic times, everyone is wondering how are we going to bounce back? What can be done? In all the pain and sufferings we are facing, perhaps we should stop and ask ourselves, is there something we can learn from all this? Is there something we could change? The article asks “What kind of society and future do we want for our children given how obviously unsustainable and exploitative the now failed market-driven system has proven to be?”
In a society that measures its success and failure solely through the economic lens of the Gross National Product (GNP), it becomes difficult to define youth outside of market principles determined largely by criteria such as the rate of market growth and the accumulation of capital. The value and worth of young people in this discourse are largely determined through the bottom-line cost-benefit categories of income, expenses, assets and liabilities. The GNP does not measure justice, integrity, courage, compassion, wisdom and learning, among other values vital to the interests and health of a democratic society.
“Subject to an advertising and marketing industry that spends over $17 billion a year on shaping children’s identities and desires, American youth are commercially carpet-bombed through a never-ending proliferation of market strategies that colonize their consciousness and daily lives.”
Children once was perceived as important social investments, innocent children we needed to protect as they would one day be the moral foundations of our society. Our culture protected them. Businesses wouldn’t dare objectify them or treat them like any other commodity. Yet time has changed dramatically in the last couple decades. It has moved from a culture of social protection to a culture of commodification. Now children from a young tender age, grow up in a culture that objectifies their value taking away any sense of moral agency.