Childhood Under Siege
How Big Business Ruthlessly Targets Children
Publisher: Bodley Head, London
Year Published: 2011
Pages: 288pp ISBN: 9781439141182
Library of Congress Number: HD2731.B227 2011 Dewey: 339.4/7083
In Childhood Under Siege, Joel Bakan throws light on the ruthless manipulation of children by big business - and on society's failure to protect them. Children, he argues, are now perceived as a resource to be mined for profit. He takes us on a dystopian journey through a world of cynical exploitation, callous neglect, ill-informed parents and governments that look the other way. He tells the chilling - and sometimes darkly humorous - story of how children are being transformed into obsessive and narcissistic mini-consumers, media addicts, cheap and pliable workers, and pharmaceutical industry guinea pigs.We are witnessing a winner-takes-all battle for children's hearts, minds and bodies - a hostile takeover of childhood itself. Large corporations are spending vast sums in order to render parents and governments powerless to protect children from calculated and unrelenting commercial assault. Joel Bakan makes it clear that society is betraying what it purports to cherish most. As the world reels from economic turmoil, ecological devastation, terrorism and war, it is these societal failings that may turn out to be the most destructive of all.