CHILDHOOD Under Siege: Joel Bakan

CHILDHOOD Under Siege: Joel Bakan

CHILDHOOD Under Siege: Joel Bakan

In Childhood Under Siege: How Big Business Targets Children (Free Press/August 9, 2011/$26.00 hardcover), Joel Bakan reveals the astonishingly callous and widespread exploitation of children by profit-seeking corporations-and also society’s shameful failure to protect them. The creator of the award-winning film and internationally best-selling book The Corporation, Bakan shows how corporations pump billions of dollars into rendering parents and governments powerless to shield children from a relentless commercial assault designed solely to exploit their unique needs and vulnerabilities.

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Focusing on the United States in particular, Bakan demonstrates how:

  • Marketers target children with increasingly devious methods to manipulate their vulnerable emotions, cultivate compulsive behavior, and addle their psyches with violence, sex, and obsessive consumerism.

  • More and more children take dangerous psychotropic drugs as pharmaceutical companies commandeer medical science and deploy dubious and often illegal marketing tactics to boost sales.

  • Children’s chronic health problems are rising dramatically as corporations dump thousands of new chemicals, in increasing amounts, into the environment, usually with the blessings of industry-influenced governments.

  • Children as young as six are working illegally on farms, getting injured, becoming ill, and dying on the job, while the legal age for farm work remains a shockingly low 12 years old in the U.S.

  • America’s schools are becoming private-sector markets for profit-seeking companies, harnessing education to the needs of industry and promoting increasingly regimented and standardized learning.

  • And more

“As governments retreat from their previous roles of protecting children from harm at the hands of corporations,” Bakan writes, “we, as a society, increasingly neglect children’s needs, expose them to exploitation, and thus betray what we, as individuals, cherish most in our lives.” Childhood Under Siege is a call to action to reverse these trends, and provides the necessary insights, information, and concrete proposals to do so.

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“Joel Bakan’s powerful, well-documented polemic is just what we need to hear right now, if we are to even begin to reverse the toxic consumerist legacy we are bequeathing to future generations.”
Literary Review of Canada

“The information in Bakan’s book is…stunning….The book sounds alarms about issues that go under most parents’ radar.”
USA Today

“Childhood Under Siege” is an essential read for anyone who works for or cares about children because we simply can’t advocate for and teach them effectively if we don’t know what we are up against. As a mother and a teacher, it was sometimes overwhelming to read this book, but for my own work and parenting I forced myself to keep going. At times it was deeply frightening–and I do media literacy training as part of my work. It’s very simple: If you want to be relevant in a child’s life, you need to read this book.”
Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabees

“Childhood Under Siege” outlines the powerful strategies at play in the corporate war against children.
This engaging, carefully researched and important book is a call to action to those who believe we have a responsibility to protect all our children with our laws and public policies as well as our hearts.”

Mary Pipher, author of The Shelter of Each Other and Seeking Peace

“The assault on childhood in our corporate-dominated and profit-driven society, painfully dissected in this penetrating study, is a tragedy not only for the immediate victims but for hopes for a better future. It can be resisted, as Joel Bakan discusses. And it is urgent not to delay.”
Noam Chomsky

“Our new century of unlimited private profits has put an end to the era of publicly protected childhood. Separated by corporate design from their parents, kids have become capitalism’s newest, most lucrative, consumers. Joel Bakan offers an angry but careful analysis of how the market flourishes today by selling our children everything from dangerous drugs, toxic plastics and unhealthy snack foods to violent and addictive video games and for-profit standardized tests. If they read Bakan carefully, once they get over their rage, both parents and policy makers may be ready to lift the corporate siege that is threatening not just our children but childhood itself.”
Benjamin R. Barber, author of Consumed: How Markets Infantilize Adults, Corrupt Children and Swallow Citizens Whole

“Childhood Under Siege” is a compelling call to arms in the covert war for our children’s minds, health, and future. Joel Bakan empowers us all to stop lamenting the destruction of childhood and do something to rescue it.”
Jane M. Healy, Ph.D., Educational Psychologist and author of Different Learners: Identifying, Preventing, and Treating Your Child’s Learning Problems

To be a child today, even in affluent countries like ours, is no longer a time of innocence, idyll and discovery, as Bakan reveals in “Childhood Under Siege”. Most children today grow up on a planet in which billions of tons of toxic chemicals have been poured into the air, water and soil; in a big city where the opportunity to encounter nature has been replaced by concrete, fast cars, video games and shopping malls; in a world in which childhood represents a marketing challenge and opportunity. Read this important book and then start working for change.”
David Suzuki, Co-Founder, The David Suzuki Foundation

In “Childhood Under Siege”, Joel Bakan documents and depicts a modern disaster-in-the-making as ominous as our society’s assault on the natural environment: the social and economic destruction of the conditions for healthy childhood. An eloquent and prophetic work we need most urgently to heed.
Gabor Maté M.D., author of In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction

Bakan offers passionate argument and copious research in this compelling call for parents to stand up for their children.
Vanessa Bush, Booklist, starred Review



We know that you can’t wait to get your hands on some Just Kids gear! All you have to do is be one of the first 50 people to purchase your ticket to “Just Kids: Art with a Story” at the suggested donation price of $15. Then, collect your awesome merchandise at the door!

You will receive a Just Kids t-shirt, button, sticker, key chain and poster. Every donation will allow us to involve and train more youth and families directly impacted by the system to share their stories with others. Every donation gets us closer to our $10,000 goal!

Tickets are available at
Supplies are limited. Get your tickets today!


Just Kids would like to recognize Kevin R. and Natasha R. for accomplishing their goal of starting college this fall!
The road to higher education can be challenging on its own, and youth who were charged as adults face additional barriers in obtaining financial aid, housing and employment.
We are so proud of Kevin and Natasha for their determination and persistence to achieve their goals despite the challenges they’ve faced. Read more…

Just Kids is working to correct the misinformation that exists about youth who are charged as adults. To do this, Just Kids is putting together a Speakers Bureau of individuals, parents and family members who are directly impacted by this flawed policy.
Do you have a story to share? Fill out the form on our website to become part of the Speakers Bureau.


Over the summer Just Kids created a new website to make information about the campaign and our issue more accessible and user friendly. Take a tour at!
We would love to hear your feedback. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please email Shannon at

Ohne Gitter: Das Gefängnis der Zukunft? Neue Ansätze des Strafvollzugs

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Ohne Gitter: Das Gefängnis der Zukunft?

TRAILERDienstag, 09. September um 21:50 Uhr (84 Min.)

Ohne Gitter: Das Gefängnis der Zukunft?

Immer wieder stehen Gefängnisse im Fokus des öffentlichen Interesses. Welches Strafvollzugssystem wollen wir in unseren demokratischen Staaten? In Frankreich basiert das System, wie in den meisten europäischen Staaten, überwiegend auf geschlossenem Vollzug: hohe Mauern, vergitterte Fenster, ständige Überwachung. Aber überfüllte Gefängnisse zwingen zum Umdenken.

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Torture: The Use of Solitary Confinement in U.S. Prisons

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Torture: The Use of Solitary Confinement in U.S. Prisons

What is Solitary Confinement?

In the early nineteenth century, the U.S. led the world in a new practice of imprisoning people in solitary cells, without access to any human contact or stimulation, as a method of rehabilitation. The results were disastrous, as prisoners quickly became severely mentally disturbed. The practice was all but abandoned. Over a century later, it has made an unfortunate comeback. Instead of torturing prisoners with…

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New Film about the “Invisible Scars” of Solitary Is the Only Good Thing to Come Out of Wapato Jail

New Film about the “Invisible Scars” of Solitary Is the Only Good Thing to Come Out of Wapato Jail


At first glance, the image above looks like the usual press photograph of a suspect accompanied to the stand, being escorted between holding cells and a courtroom. Alternatively, it could be a scene from inside a jail. Jumpsuit, shackles and guards are glaring visual clues and we think we know what we are seeing. But, in most cases w edon’t. And in this case were aren’t. This is a photo from the set of the in-production movie wHole, for which filming began last month at the vacant Wapato Jail in Portland,

Black Hole #SolitaryConfinement

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Courtesy of: Infographic World

In 2005, over 81,000 inmates were held in restricted housing. Solitary confinement is the practice of keeping prisoners in individual cells for most, if not all, hours of the day. Learn about the history of this practice, as well as its cost and the affect it has on the prisoners.

Black Hole Solitary Confinement Infographic

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<div style=”clear:both”><a href=””><img src=”” border=”0″ /></a></div><div>Courtesy of: <a href=””>Infographic World</a></div>

Black Hole #SolitaryConfinement

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Pennsylvania Teenager Simulates Oral Sex With Jesus Statue, Faces 2 Years in Prison

Originally posted on My Blog

Pennsylvania Teenager Simulates Oral Sex With Jesus Statue, Faces 2 Years in Prison

| Fri Sep. 12, 2014 1:39 PM EDT

Teenagers are prone to dumb, tasteless pranks, but one 14-year-old is facing prison time for his latest stunt. The teen, from Everett, Pennsylvania, hopped on top of a statue of a kneeling Jesus—in front of an organization called “Love in the Name of Christ”—and simulated oral sex with the statue’s face. Naturally, he posted the pictures to Facebook, which made their way to authorities.

Officials in Bedford County charged the teen (whose name hasn’t been released) with desecration of a venerated object, invoking a 1972 Pennsylvania statute that criminalizes “defacing, damaging, polluting or otherwise physically mistreating in a way that the actor knows will outrage the sensibilities of persons likely to observe or discover the action.” You’d think an appropriate…

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