Childhood Under Siege

This assault on childhood is a major crisis of our time.

Posted Jul 21, 2011

This blog is devoted to revealing and discussing the various ways corporations exploit the special vulnerabilities of children, manipulate parents' fears, and operate with callous disregard for children's health and well-being. That is the subject of my new book, Childhood Under Siege: How Big Business Targets Children. Here is the description of the book from its jacket to give you some sense of the range of topics I intend to cover here:

The number of children taking dangerous psychotropic drugs has skyrocketed as pharmaceutical companies employ insidious, often illegal tactics to inflate diagnoses of disorders and convince parents their children require medication. A highly sophisticated marketing industry deploys increasingly subtle and powerful tactics to play on children's intense emotions and desires and to lure them into obsessive consumerism. Computer game designers craft techniques to titillate children with sex and violence, while social media developers infiltrate and shape children's social and emotional worlds to compelthem to spend more and more monetizable time online. America's schools are being transformed into profit centers while children are subjected to increasingly regimented teaching that thwarts curiosity and creativity, numbing the joy of learning. and children's chronic health problems, from asthma to cancer, autism, and birth defects, steadily escalate as thousands of new chemicals are dumped into their environments.

Nelson Mandela once sagely remarked that "there can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way it treats its children." In our own society, big business has made protecting children extremely difficult. Corporations pump billions into rendering parents and governments powerless to shield children from an unrelenting commercial assault, with the result that after a century of progress, duringwhich protective laws and regulations were widely promulgated, children are once again exposed to substantial harm at the handsof corporations. This assault on childhood is a major crisis of our time.

I look forward over the coming months to sharing with you my thoughts on these issues, and also on how we as parents and citizens can address them.   

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