Childhood Innocence and the Politics of Corporate Culture
  • Henry A. Giroux


This book explores the seemingly separate but interrelated nature of three myths, all of which function to limit substantive democracy, the welfare of children, and socially engaged scholarship. The first myth, “the end of history,” assumes that liberal democracy has achieved its ultimate victory and that the twin ideologies of the market and representative democracy now constitute, with few exceptions, the universal values of the new global village.1 Within this myth, liberal culture becomes synonymous with market culture, and the celebrated freedoms of the consumer are bought at the expense of the freedoms of citizens. Little public recognition is given to either the limits that democracies must place on market power or how corporate culture and its narrow definition of freedom as a private good actually may threaten the well-being of children and of democracy itself. In short, the conflation of democracy with the market cancels the tension between market moralities and those values of civil society that cannot be measured in strictly commercial terms but that are critical to democratic public life. I am referring specifically to values such as justice, respect for children, and the rights of citizens.


Young People Popular Culture Cultural Politics Corporate Culture Critical Educator 
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  1. 1.
    The end of history theme was made famous in Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man (New York: Free Press, 1992).Google Scholar
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  3. 3.
    The universalized notion of childhood and innocence is dismantled in a range of historical work on childhood. See Philippe Aries, Centuries of Childhood (London: Cate Press, 1973, c. 1962);Google Scholar
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© Henry A. Giroux 2000

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  • Henry A. Giroux

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