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SAMF-Fagkomiteen for samfunnsvitenskap

Consuming Children: Commercialisation and the Changing Construction of Childhood

Awarded: NOK 6.6 mill.

Norwegian Centre for Child Research (NOSEB) at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology aims, through establishing an international and interdisciplinary research group, to develop research based insights about marketing to children, and to asse ss the role of commercialisation and consumer culture in changing the definitions and lived experiences of childhood. Despite the scale of public concern about the apparent 'commercialisation' of childhood, there is still relatively little academic resear ch in this field, particularly when it comes to contemporary forms of marketing such as branding, cross-promotion, sponsorship, product placement and peer-to-peer marketing. The present project seeks to integrate three aspects of this phenomenon - namel y, marketing, the cultural product/text and the consumer - and to focus on children in two age groups that are currently a major focus of marketing interest, namely kindergartners and 'tweens'. Sub-project 1 will explore the historical dimensions of marke ting to children, the contemporary practices of the media, advertising and related industries, and the competing discourses on these issues that circulate within public and policy debate. Sub-projects 2 and 3 will consider the nature of marketing to kinde rgartners and ?tweens? (aged roughly 8-12): in each case, the project will explore the interaction between the practices of the industry, the nature of the products that are generated, and the ways in which they are used or interpreted by children. Sub-pr oject 4 will explore the implications of these developments both for media regulators and for educationalists seeking to develop forms of ?consumer literacy? in schools. The research group consists of researchers from the disciplines of Media Education, Early Childhood Education, History, Media Science and Psychology. There is strong international representation from researchers across Europe and from the US.

Funding scheme:

SAMF-Fagkomiteen for samfunnsvitenskap