Capitalism and Childhood

Broadly defined, capitalism is a social system that is organized around the production of goods for sale and the generation of profit. It is a dominant and pervasive global influence on many aspects of people’s lives, including those of children. Capitalism can influence how children are educated, government policies, the jobs their parents do, the jobs they will do as adults, their access to resources, and how they are conceptualized. Capitalism is not universal and is practiced in multiple forms. Consequently, its effects are multiple and can differ across locations, time periods, classes, and cultures. This entry investigates current research debates with respect to capitalism and its relevance to studies of childhood. Specific attention is paid to children’s status as consumers, neoliberalism’s influence on children’s ...

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