Representations of Children and Childhood in Indian Television Advertisements
This article rests on the assumption that it is not possible to imagine universal and invariant characteristics of childhood. There are varying cultural conceptualizations and contexts within which childhood unfolds (Jenks, 1996) and thus each culture has its own notions and ways of defining children and childhood. This article attempts to explore the representations of children and childhood as portrayed in selected advertisements on Indian television. The article brought to fore that the representations of children and childhood in the advertisements were not singular and normative but pluralistic and complex. The debate around child-adult binary was marked by both-discontinuity and continuity. The importance of children was reiterated while positioning children into families and the larger social context. Children as potential consumers, susceptible to commodification and adultification also found articulation. The article suggests that to capture the dominant representations of children and childhood in a particular society, it is imperative to understand them embedded in the contexts.