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Social Policy for Children - Essay Example

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Relevant policies on the protection of the rights and welfare of children abound. The UN Declaration of Human Rights, through its provision states, "Every child should have access to free elementary education, and must have full development of human personality." Key policy goals arising to these include social cohesion, human development, human capital, equality of opportunity, social mobility, and equality of outcome. Education is the focus of this study in which policy into practice is examined.
It is important to point out that the emergence of democracy as a political ideology paved way to the emergence of several economic and marketing strategies aiming to increase profitability even in the realm of education, children's services, products, toys, and the like, exposing children to recurring references to brands. Since education is also entered ito by commercialism, acquisition of knowledge and skills seems secondary to schools' profit accumulation. There is likewise the so- called non-broadcast media, in which public services are increasingly being utilised as advertising spaces. Children or their parents are made to buy certain products through marketing messages by exploiting children's emotional vulnerabilities and by using the notion of 'being cool' to sell (Williams, 2007, p. 4). The correlation between commercialisation and education is an important emphasis in this paper. Hence, it may be inferred that children are turned into customers in capitalistic environment where they live, and even the kind of education they receive is turned into a business (Kohn and Shannon, 2002). It is also said that schools are becoming highly commercialized, allowing corporate encroachments in their domains in which commercialized activities are already commonplace (Molnar and Reaves, 2001).

There is said to be a commercialization of childhood with marketing strategies wherein children are bombarded with images of what they should own and how they are supposed to look, making them struggle to keep up. With this setting, children tend to suffer from stress, anxiety, poorer relationships with others, and an increasing lower satisfaction about themselves (Williams, 2007, p. 5). There is said to be record levels of mental health among children, manifested by symptoms of conduct disorders such as bullying as well as eating and emotional disorders (Williams, 2007; Kaltiala, et al., 2002). These are effects of commercialization intended by businesses for children. It must be noted that in terms of viewing children and childhood in the point of view of the Marxist ideology, there is currently a child-oriented market that lays roots in every aspect of children's lives in the UK, affecting how children learn, eat, and play. Advertisements and marketing strategies and messages play a big role in shaping the way children view themselves and their environment (Sarup, 1982). With a commercialized education (Kohn and Shannon, 2002; Molnar and Reaves, 2001), this is carried on even in school.

The democratic ideology is utilised in order to maximise capitalist profits through products and services intended for children (Wittman, 1983). Commercialism gave a way for the disappearance of the boundaries between the child and the adult worlds, seen in the manner wherein lacy underwear are sold to little girls and toys like 'date ...Show more
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Summary

This essay aims to demonstrate critical awareness and understanding of material political ideologies and their influence on the development and implementation of social policy in relation to children and childhood. It shall likewise analyse and evaluate an aspect of social policy related to children and childhood…
Social Policy for Children
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