Mar 8, 2013 | By: A Woman

Capitalism and Ignorance is Bliss - Consuming Kids (Part 3) - Day 319


This is a continuation to:

Capitalism and Ignorance is Bliss - Day 315

Capitalism and Ignorance is Bliss - Consuming Kids (part 1) - Day 316

Capitalism and Ignorance is Bliss - Consuming Kids (Part 2) - Day 317


Problem No.3.1

Mental Health and the Well Being of Children - Who is Responsible?


When I started investigating the Problem in relation to the Well being and Mental Health of the children and adults in relation to Marketing and Advertisement, I found an interesting thing that this current capitalistic System has created and the Players it involved that are either aware or unaware of their involvement however, regardless their awareness, they are part of the problem, like any other person within the capitalistic system which include us - all who can make a difference but won't due to an extensive fear of survival that we have accepted and allowed to be the Status Quo of our Existence.


The question that needs to be asked here is Who Supports the Advertiser Elite to Lure and Manipulate children into a Consumer Robots? Unfortunately, those whom we trust the most in the System are those who gave up their Morality for the Power of Money - the Psychologist who are directly and indirectly made the decision to support the Capitalistic System for their own Interest of Survival.

Now I understand that many would object and resist to the above statement but have a look -

There are Companies headed by Trained Child Psychologists that Specialized in Market Research on Children.

Psychologist that are involved with Child Marketing Research. An Evident is the large number of books such as "What Kids Buy and Why: The Psychology of Marketing to Kids (Acuff & Reiher, 1997)", "A Marketer’s Guide to a Kid’s Heart (Del Vecchio, 1997)". The research goes far to the extent of testing which message strategy would most effectively induce children to nag their parents to buy the advertised product (“The old nagging game,” 1998). These Psychologists are very much aware of the Consequences and the Outflows that directly Emerge in one's mind which leads to Mental health disorders such as Anorexia, Bulimia and Eating disorders, Anabolic Steroids intake,  Botox Injection, Bullying and etc.

I mean, it is quite obvious that commercial and advertisement companies targeting children, using psychologists to enhance the effectiveness of the Persuasive tools applied and that in itself should be an extreme concerning point that must follow with questioning the entire field of Psychology and the ethics that they use.

But that is not the end of it - the Victims of Advertisements are later on being treated by Psychologist that claims having good intentions and a Desire to cure the Child's Mind but is it really so?  Aren't these Psychologist aware of the core/root/source of the Problem that manifest such extreme Mental behaviour in the first place? Obviously they are but they wouldn't do anything about it because that would mean that they won't have patients to cure any longer and therefor, what will they do for a living? So there is a silent acceptance of the Problem because having the Problem in place, support the survival of the Psychology field as a whole.

So, if both the companies and the Psychologists do not have the children's Mental Health, Physical Health and well-being in mind - who is taking care of our Children in a Profit Driven Capitalistic Society?


Problem No.3.2

Mental Health and the Well Being of Children - why and how?




"Children now account directly for an estimated $36 billion in sales annually in the USA, with their indirect purchasing power accompanied by the so called “nag-factor” (Zelizer, 2002) reaching over $290 billion of economic spending (McNeal, 1992). This is not a coincidence, but a direct result of intense advertising and co existing problems of a consumer society. For example with over 70% of mothers now working more and more, consumer tasks are falling to the children. It is now estimated that by age 10, the average child makes over five trips a week to a shop or shopping center (McNeal 1992). And with over $1 billion being spent every year on child advertising and an additional $10 billion on promotion in the USA alone, these children have more purchasing power than ever."

Source: “Child advertising: Cradle to Grave consumerism.”


Thus, children who are exposed to enormous amount of advertising are forced to specific type of Deliberate 'Education' - the American Dream and the Life Style that all would like to have. They then thus, learn the importance of Money from the Self Interest and desire point of view and certainty not the Value of Life as what Money could be used as a tool of what would enhance and perfect the well being of ALL; they will learn what products they require to purchase to be able to stand in alignment to the Life Style they Desire having and within that thus, how these products supposedly would created the experience of 'Feeling Good' and 'Happy' within and as themselves. Young people are exposed from birth on to advertisements implying that their happiness is dependent on how they look, how popular they are and what material goods they have in their Possession.

Theses are the fundamental values that children are currently being exposed to, when and as they birth into this capitalistic system, as we have shown in the previous blog.


This obviously comes with Consequences:



Parent–Child Conflict

An important side effect of the influence of advertising on children’s desire for products is the parent–child conflict that emerges when refusals occur in response to children’s purchase-influence attempts (Robertson, 1979). Parents obviously cannot honor all purchase requests triggered by television advertising, given the volume of commercials that the average child sees. In one study, Atkin (1975) found that more than half of children reported arguing or becoming angry when a toy request was denied; in another (Atkin, 1978), he observed high rates of child disappointment and anger in response to the majority of parent refusals for cereal requests at the supermarket. Other studies confirm these patterns (Goldberg & Gorn, 1978; Sheikh & Moleski, 1977). In sum, the frequent purchase requests associated with children’s advertising exposure may place strain on parent–child interaction.


Materialistic Attitudes

Although each ad may have as its primary purpose the promotion of sales of its featured product, the cumulative impact from the totality of advertising seen by children may exert far broader sociological influence. For example, scholars have advanced the hypothesis that advertising cultivates a materialistic value system in young people. In this context, materialism can be defined as the view that products and their acquisition are the basis for determining one’s personal worth. As Baran, Mok, Land, and Kang (1989) expressed it, people develop the mind-set that “you are what you buy.” Material possessions become the source of judgment by others as well as the source of one’s own self-evaluation.


Source: Report of the APA Task Force on Advertising and Children


Extreme Materialism among children was found to be one of the causes for more Depression and Anxiety, dissatisfaction, anger and isolation. (Kasser T. The High Price of Materialism. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2002;

Eckersley R. Well and Good: Morality, Meaning and Happiness. 2nd edn. Melbourne: Text Publishing, 2005.).


Commonsensically, in a society where Money become a scarce commodity as more and more people loses their jobs while Marketing and Advertisements of new Products are increasing, it is inevitable that people would experience the Desire for MORE however, wouldn't be able to get that More which would lead to Depression and frustration.

It is also clear that not all could experience the Life Style that is advertised in the various types and kinds of Media that would lead to Jealousy and all the dimensions that comes up with Jealousy such as Anxiety, Self Judgement, dissatisfaction and so Furth.


Furthermore, with the Photoshoped Manipulation in Marketing and advertisement, many would go through the Experience of Eating disorder due to Comparing themselves to the Picture they see in Ads to the Picture they see  in their minds and accordingly, some would go through to path of Extreme of Bulimia and Anorexia.


In terms of Children/parents relationship - the advertisers are aware of the harm the ads cause and even wrote a book about it - The old nagging game, 1998. With the deliberate creation of dysfunctional relationship already from a young age of the child and with no support for the parents in how to deal with the development and evolution of consumerism in a capitalistic society - the parents are forced to a life of constant conflict and friction with their children that would deny them from being the Gentle and yet Directive Force in their Child's Life, in being able to fulfil their responsibility as parents in supporting the children to be and become the upmost potential within their Natural Development processes, that they could have become within an Equal and best for all world system.


There are Research available that describes in specificity the Problems involved with our current capitalistic society and the consequences that are busy escalating, generation after generation.

We cannot wait until it is too late because under our noses, our children are the victims of our ignorance. While ignorance is Bliss is a quick delusional solution, it will follow, and already is following with detrimental consequences that would lead us to a point of no return.


To be continued...


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