With the intensity of the California gold rush, corporations are racing to stake their claim on the consumer group formerly known as children. What was once the purview of a handful of companies has escalated into a gargantuan enterprise estimated at over $15 billion annually. While parents busily try to set limits at home, marketing executives work day and night to undermine their efforts with irresistible messages.
In Consuming Kids, psychologist Susan Linn takes a comprehensive and unsparing look at the demographic advertisers call "the kid market," taking readers on a compelling and disconcerting journey through modern childhood as envisioned by commercial interests. Children are now the focus of a marketing maelstrom, targets for everything from minivans to M&M counting books. All aspects of children's lives their health, education, creativity, and values are at risk of being compromised by their status in the marketplace.
Interweaving real-life stories of marketing to children, child development theory, the latest research, and what marketing experts themselves say about their work, Consuming Kids reveals the magnitude of this problem and shows what can be done about it.
Susan Linn is an instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Associate Director of the Media Center at Judge Baker Children's Center. She is also co-founder of the coalition Stop Commercial Exploitation of Children. She lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, with her husband and daughter.
The Washington Post - Catherine Tumber
Linn makes a compelling case for restricting commercial access to children, moving the debate beyond the influence of sexual and violent programming and concentrating on how the sheer volume of marketing aimed at controlling youthful imagination is what should most concern us. Play, she notes, following psychoanalyst D.W. Winnicott, comes naturally to children, who, by imaginatively engaging the world within safe boundaries, develop rich inner lives, creativity, critical thinking and autonomy in adulthood. But anything that facilitates free play is precisely what the loud voice of commerce cannot endure.
Linn works hard not only to put together a truly devastating case against the marketers... Savvy enough to avoid sounding like someone's old maiden aunt, Linn presents a socially conscious account that deserves wide exposure.
Library Journal - Heather O'Brien
This illuminating read has a place on all library shelves next to Alissa Quart's Branded The Buying and Selling of Teenagers.
T. Berry Brazelton, M.D., Professor Emeritus, Harvard Medical School
A splendid book — a call to arms for parents today. Consuming Kids lays out the ingredients of a fight back, giving back control to parents, and their children. Our children as consumers are being consumed. We can and must take back our parental roles in this media battle.
Alvin F. Poussaint, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School and Judge Baker Children's Center Consuming Kids outlines, with considerable passion, what we must do to protect our children from becoming prey in an out-of-control culture of commercialism. It should be read by every parent, policymaker, and professional who works with children.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Mari LaFore Scare Tactics As the mother of two grown children, I find Ms.Lynn's book to be propagana at it's best. It insults the intelligence of any parent and any child who is not totally gullible. Children are attracted to toys and books of their favorite characters and... Read More
Is government regulation
such a tall order? I don't think so.
Firstly it's only in the past couple of
decades that companies in the USA have been
given such free reign to market to children
in the USA - before this there were far
tighter controls. Secondly, other
countries manage it, so why not the USA?
For example, Sweden, Norway and Finland ban
marketing to children under 12, Greece
prohibits ads for toys between 7am and 10pm,
New Zealand bans junk-food marketing to
children, and the province of Quebec in
Canada bans all advertising to children...
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