Art education theory and practice sees children as constructivist learners, but postmodern theory teaches us to see children with multiple and fragmented identities. Postmodern theory is used to examine childhood as a site of divergent discourses concerned with persistent adult attempts to control both actual children and the concept of childhood. Many alternative conceptions find pictorial form in the mass media, from abused child to nightmarish threat. This paper focuses on the idea of children as rabid consumers. It examines television advertisements aimed at children, especially by McDonald’s, Mattel and Cap Toys. Implications for the classroom as well as art education as a field of study are outlined.
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