|Pluto Press, London, UK
Publication date: May 2009
|UNSW Press, Sydney, Australia
Publication date: July 2009
Also The Oriental Press, China, 2011 (Chinese translation)
This Little Kiddy Went to Market investigates the way that corporations are strategically shaping children to be hyperconsumers, submissive employees, and passive, unquestioning citizens as well as feeding a burgeoning pharmaceutical industry by ensuring children who cannot be shaped are given a psychiatric diagnosis.
It covers the way that corporations are targeting ever younger children with a barrage of advertising and marketing; the way that children’s play has been turned into a commercial opportunity; and how corporations have taken advantage of childish anxieties and insecurities, and reshaped children’s very identities. It shows how school funding shortages have opened the door to an influx of corporate materials into schools aimed at inculcating consumer and business values.
The book analyses school reforms in English-speaking nations to uncover the hidden agendas behind them including: shifting of responsibility for the consequences of funding shortages to school management; turning schools into competing business enterprises where children are drilled and constantly tested; producing submissive employees with basic literacy and numeracy skills rather than developing an informed active citizenry with critical thinking skills; enabling businesses to take control of more and more aspects of schooling; and eroding the ideal and reality of public schooling.
‘A chilling assessment of modern commercial culture and how it distorts childhood, corrupts civic
institutions, and endangers the planet.’
Alex Molnar, Professor of Education Policy, Arizona State University