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Baby, it`s you : international capital discovers the under threes
journal contributionposted on 2005-03-01, 00:00 authored by Patrick Hughes
Well-established international entertainment firms such as Disney and Fisher-Price are joining new start-up firms such as Baby Einstein to create a 'Baby' market of products (including toys, games and videos) specifically targeted at children aged 0-3 years. Despite its novelty, the 'Baby' market mirrors older markets that these firms have created around other demographic groups (e.g. older children, adolescents and adults) - it redefines its target demographic group around specific commodities and promotes its redefinition as 'common sense'. The 'Baby' firms redefine babies solely as early learners whose potential to learn can be released by these firms' brand-name 'educational' or 'developmental' products. Many adults buy these products because they accept the firms' redefinition of babies, but other adults ignore the firms' promotional messages and buy the products to give themselves some time apart from their babies. The 'Baby' market is significant for children and adults because it changes young children's relationships with adults and because it subordinates local cultural differences to a children's culture that purports to be 'global' but has, in reality, extremely narrow foundations in class, race and gender.