Valves of Desire: A Historian's Perspective on Parents, Children, and Marketing

Gary Cross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


This historical analysis on marketing to children argues that the communications linkage between advertiser and child is more problematic than contemporary research models suggest. Cultural reactions to modern market society have led to constructions of childhood innocence that have both restricted and expanded consumption. Over the last century, this ambiguous response has produced repeated efforts to regulate advertising and has led to adult spending to restore wonder through giving to children. The implications of this analysis for marketing and consumer research is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)441-447
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing


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