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Consumerism and media

Consumerism and Media Education
Marketing and the right to childhood 

In the world:

The national and international statistics show that young people have recently acquired a significant decision-making power not only as regards the purchase of goods they might benefit directly, but also in relation to typical purchases of the family. This is due in large part to children's television exposure, as the main source of knowledge and place of formation of the child, as a consumer.

The consumerism culture has become an integral part of childhood, adolescence and youth around the world in general. Children and adolescents in this context are constituted as the main target of many national and multinational companies in the sectors of entertainment, fashion, food...

A growing interest in the international literature on the issues of consumption has lead to question what may be the consequences of an increasingly aggressive and pervasive marketing on young people.

Consumption has become a core value in the lives of young people and advertising and marketing do not only influence the purchasing decisions but also their attitudes and behavior. Several studies in Europe have highlighted some issues related to the influence of marketing messages on behavior displayed by adolescents, such as, the increasing rate of obesity and eating disorders, sexuality increasingly early exhibited, an increasing rate of violence, a decline of the critical and creative skills of children, anxiety and malaise.


In Italy:

In Italy, it seems that, in relation to these issues , the public and institutions are reacting by a kind of passivity and resigned acceptance to the invasion and omnipresence of the market.

Defence for Children International Italy believes it is urgent to take steps to understand what are the relationship with the youth market/consumption and young people; and to ask whether the growing presence of children and adolescents in the market as consumers, actually corresponds to an increase of their ability in managing the challenges and opportunities the market offers.

The general objective of the programme of Defence for Children Italy is to help protect children's right to a fair, non-invasive advertising in line with national standards and the CRC, through consumer awareness and a critical approach to media and to advertising messages directed to them.

To this end, Defence for Children Italy intends to:

  • conduct a research among young Italian generations to understand the magnitude of the phenomenon and cognitive and emotional perception of advertising
  • promote among children a conscious approach to the media and in particular to advertising messages directed to them
  • raise awareness of families, teachers and educators
  • stimulate a debate in civil society about the influence of marketing choices and behaviors on youth
  • Noi
  • Capire
  • Dire
  • Agire
Fondata durante l’Anno Internazionale del Fanciullo (luglio 1979) da Nigel Cantwell e Canon Moerman, Defence for Children International ha contribuito attivamente al processo di stesura della Convenzione sui Diritti del Fanciullo delle Nazioni Unite Read More

I diritti umani delle bambine e dei bambini vengono sistematicamente violati. Un mondo adulto incurante delle conseguenze produce guerra, povertà, esclusione sociale, distruzione dell'ambiente imponendo così alle più giovani generazioni il proprio devastante impatto. Non è più possibile limitarsi a constatare queste gravi situazioni e rispondere ad esse con semplici azioni di beneficenza.
E' necessario capire e interrogare in modo approfondito le ragioni, le cause e le responsabilità che determinano queste violazioni per identificare soluzioni capaci di prevenirle e istituire appropriate risposte.

Molti sono coloro che dichiarano genericamente la propria solidarietà e la propria indignazione per le gravi condizioni che coinvolgono l'infanzia nel mondo. Pochi sono coloro che hanno il coraggio di parlare apertamente.
E' necessario aumentare la capacità di identificazione e di denuncia delle condizioni che rendono i bambini più vulnerabili.

E' certamente importante tradurre in azioni concrete la nostra solidarietà con le generazioni più giovani. In molti casi però questo attivismo non è collegato ad una comprensione reale della situazione delle persone a cui si rivolge e proprio per questo le risposte sono estemporanee e non durano nel tempo. Ogni azione per l’infanzia deve realizzarsi a partire da una comprensione precisa  del contesto nel quale viene realizzata e riaffermare attraverso la sua realizzazione una logica fondata sui diritti.

2013 | ® Defence for Children International Italia

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