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Monday March 05, 2012

National conference to discuss the corporate takeover of childhood

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A national conference on children and the media to be held in Melbourne this week will explore the challenges involved in raising a healthy child in today's commercial and often exploitative environment.

A national conference on children and the media to be held in Melbourne this week will explore the challenges involved in raising a healthy child in today's commercial and often exploitative environment.

The conference on March 9 is entitled "The Corporate Takeover of childhood: who's paying the price?" It is presented by Macquarie University's Children and Families Research Centre and the Australian Council on Children and the Media in association with the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth.

Both local and international speakers will present research findings, raise issues and discuss possible remedies to ensure that healthy child development is given due consideration in today's increasingly commercial society.

Researchers note that society today has many ways of convincing children that happiness, and even their very identity depends on what they buy and what they own. Yet, there is compelling evidence to support the idea that consumerism doesn't produce children that are any healthier or happier.

One of those presenting at the conference, Professor Elizabeth Handsley, from Flinders University, observes that much advertising directed at children seems to involve deliberate grooming of children as consumers rather than providing them with information about the products. She likens it to selling the "sizzle rather than the sausage." In her presentation, Professor Handsley will look at how well the law protects children from commercialism.

Macquarie University's Dr Wayne Warburton and Dr C. Glenn Cupit from the University of South Australia will discuss what effects narratives in advertising have on children. Professor Douglas Gentile from Iowa State University will discuss "Children's addiction to screen-based media: the costs and consequences.

The list of speakers at "The Corporate Takeover of childhood: who's paying the price?" include:

For more information, visit the website




Source: Macquarie University http://www.mq.edu.au/newsroom/control.php?page=story&item=4830&category=humanitites+%26+social+sciences

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