In Childhood Under Siege, Joel Bakan reveals the callous and widespread exploitation of children by profit-seeking corporations and society's failure to protect them. The creator of the award-winning film and internationally best-selling book The Corporation, Bakan shows how corporations pump billions of dollars into rendering parents and governments powerless to shield children from a relentless commercial assault designed solely to exploit their unique needs and vulnerabilities.
Focusing on the United States in particular, Bakan demonstrates how:
- Marketers target children with increasingly devious methods to manipulate their vulnerable emotions, cultivate compulsive behavior, and addle their psyches with violence, sex, and obsessive consumerism.
- More and more children take dangerous psychotropic drugs as pharmaceutical companies commandeer medical science and deploy dubious and often illegal marketing tactics to boost sales.
- Children's chronic health problems are rising dramatically as corporations dump thousands of new chemicals, in increasing amounts, into the environment, usually with the blessings of industry-influenced governments.
- Children as young as six are working illegally on farms, getting injured, becoming ill, and dying on the job, while the legal age for farm work remains a shockingly low 12 years old in the U.S.
- America's schools are becoming private-sector markets for profit-seeking companies, harnessing education to the needs of industry and promoting increasingly regimented and standardized learning.
- And more
"As governments retreat from their previous roles of protecting children from harm at the hands of corporations," Bakan writes, "we, as a society, increasingly neglect children's needs, expose them to exploitation, and thus betray what we, as individuals, cherish most in our lives."
Childhood Under Siege is a call to action to reverse these trends, and provides the necessary insights, information, and concrete proposals to do so.