• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Commercialization of Childhood: The Pinwheel of Disney

Extracts from this document...


The Commercialization of Childhood: The Pinwheel of Disney Over decades, the vast media empire of Walt Disney, dabbling in a variety of almost every aspect of the industry from television to film, department stores to theme parks, has undeniably infiltrated into our everyday lives and influenced our culture in numerous aspects, with or without us realizing. In the age of bursting information, the media touches their lives more directly than ever before. The sources are so scattered and the socializing process can be so subtle, that even adults sometimes forget to be critical to what we take in on a daily basis, let alone our children. They have too little sophistication and experience to discriminate and so they receive and learn from basically everything they are offered. That is why it is crucial for us to be alerted to the real power of the Disney kingdom, which has the access to and control over what children read and watch, what children play and use, what and how they think, and find out what it is conveying to our children and how it is manipulating the meaning of childhood. In this essay, inspired by Richard deCordova's 'The Mickey in Macy's Window: Childhood, Consumerism, and Disney Animation', I would first explore how the word 'Childhood' has evolved in time, mostly on how and why it has become consuming-oriented as it is nowadays. Then, I would briefly elaborate on some basic theories related to consumerism, followed by how Disney redefines childhood and family, in order to consolidate and raise its commercial interest. The Invention of Childhood Children's culture in the West has a complex history. The idea of childhood is under constant change along with history. ...read more.


and how a family should be that empower Disney as a paramount yet somehow neglected ideological institution in retelling the norms of the society as well as inventing meanings for the other existing social superstructure. Despite the many criticisms parents often make of the media, far more parents of young children (zero to six years old) think TV "mostly helps" children learn (43%) than think it "mostly hurts" learning (27%) or that it does not affect learning one way or the other (21%). Indeed, a significant proportion of parents believe that various types of educational media are "very important" to children's intellectual development.6 The whole scheme of norms conveying by Disney are accepted and internalized by the general audiences without much less critical reflection than there should be. One of the reasons for that is exactly the company strategy of fusing entertainment and education, which has blurred the boundary between educational public culture and commercial interest of the company. Parents are convinced of the educational value lying within the Disney products and animation films, therefore are less sensitive of the content and more readily perceive the information being told as positive and righteous. As previously stated on the consumerism, the Disney enterprises have made use of all possible means to implant the ever growing desire to consume in our hearts. In the World of Disney, no one seems to have to work in order to produce. It is said to be "a carousel of consumerism. Money is the goal everyone strives for because it manages to embody all the qualities of their world."7 There is a constant round of buying, selling and consuming, but to all audiences, none of the products involved has required any effort from whoever to make. ...read more.


The well known success of the Mickey Mouse Club can help us to understand how Disney makes use of consumer community to promote the company's interest. The Mouse's Club is a social community that allows children's drama, nature tales and musicals to interact with Disney's own cartoon characters and form a kind of children's variety show. The mouseclubbers themselves, singing the Mouse Club song with their special mouse ears on, provided a sense of organization and belonging, with Mickey as its centre idol. The same marketing strategy is used in many other products of Disney's in a smaller scale, like the above mentioned learning kit of Disney World of English, which also has its own World Family Club15. The community brings all the mouselovers together, generates and consolidates the loyalty to Disney characters and hence its products sharing among the peer culture. The picture drawn here is far from complete, but it does give some sense in how children was recognized, targeted and transformed as consumers through the use of its ideological power and many marketing strategy by the Disney Company. In their relentless pursuit, all the threads of our daily life have woven into the fabric of our world of goods. Given that merchants' attentions are increasingly focused on childhood, it is reasonable to expect that the concern with children's consumerism will grow stronger and stronger. As to redress the situation, we have to acknowledge the marketplace as a part of the contemporary socialization in how children learn the roles, attitudes and sentiments that reinforce the consumer culture, no matter how the subject company advertises itself as the place that dreams come true. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Applied Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Applied Sociology essays

  1. Popular Culture Essay. In my essay I will scrutinise feminism in advertising. We live ...

    It has great support than the other perspectives because it is more tolerant and its views are less threatening to existing values. In Western societies liberal feminists? plans are to change the political, economic and social systems. Liberal feminists believe that both men and women are not benefiting from gender inequalities (Haralambos and Holborn 2008).

  2. Action Plan for research into the effects of playing violent video games.

    Having access to University of Sussex library is giving me opportunity to find as much journal articles as I wish. I have been there already I was amazed of the variety of books they have. I want have any trouble to find the right book for my subject.

  1. Reasons for Working. How does paid employment affect your identity?

    Thus, these units, in effect, are assuming their own identity, one that is required to be entrepreneurial in order to be effective. This requires the individuals to become personally exposed to the risks and costs involved, and are thus encouraged to build on their own capabilities, rather than relying on others.


    up to date list of the population is not often guaranteed in African contexts. There are always ?dark figures? in African situation which hinders a proper application of the ideals of probability method. For instance, in a research that has to do with domestic violence against women, it requires that

  1. Reality TV: A Deterioration of Mass Entertainment, or a Positive Experience for Viewers? ...

    Though the title of Poniewozik's article suggests that reality television is good, Poniewozik does not fail to show how people would think it is bad, "It makes us feel tawdry, dirty, cheap--if it didn't, we probably wouldn't bother tuning in. And in this, for once, the audience and critics agree."

  2. This evaluation study will thoroughly study factors that influence teen pregnancy and parenting on ...

    by individual researchers, as well as, research institutions. The aim of the literature review is to critically review the strengths and weaknesses of both conceptions and implementations of research pertinent to our topic. Factors affecting low self-esteem and depression experiences are several, but only the most relevant ones will be

  1. Research - In this assignment, we are trying to find the factors and effects ...

    We are so happy to see that the most students have a plan in surfing the internet even though not in detail. But unfortunately, some students spend days and nights online. These students also loss of interest in other activities and become more fascinated with living inside the game.

  2. How are marked and unmarked identities socially produced

    Although the article doesn?t say how long the immigrant Roma people have been living in Belfast, the mention of a baby indicates that in this community there is at least a second generation. The other marked identity is that of the thugs.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work