Childhood and Consumer Culture by David Buckingham, Vebjørg Tingstad (eds.)

By David Buckingham, Vebjørg Tingstad (eds.)

In contemporary years kids became an more and more vital customer industry, and there's transforming into predicament concerning the 'commercialisation' of early life. This e-book sheds gentle on those debates, providing new empirical info and not easy severe views on kid's engagement with client tradition from a variety of foreign settings.

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It is a change that encodes and enacts the beginning of a larger-scale transformation in the cultural construction of the child within a consumer society, from seeing children as a means to reach adult markets, to seeking to target children directly. This process can be interpreted as a process of extending to children the status of more or less full persons, or at least of seeing them as individualized, self-contained consumers (Cook 2007). Again, this has been a development over time, which has taken longer and assumed a different form in Norway and the Scandinavian countries compared with the United States.

And he states: ‘We have always had our focus on children; we have never focussed on jumping from one ‘craze’ to another (…).

In describing and analysing the market for children’s toys, and focusing specifically on the Norwegian company Proper Toys (A/S Riktige Leker), I address the following questions: What characterizes ‘proper toys’ according to the definition of this company, and what is the basis for such a definition? By looking at how ‘proper’ toys are defined and differentiated from other (‘improper’) products, we also acquire an insight into how adults define childhood, how children’s play is valued, and how children are regarded as modern consumers.

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