Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Department of Science and Technology Studies


Children's manufactured toys both reflect and are shaped by many aspects of our society. This thesis specifically takes up two prominent social factors in the social shaping of toys. Firstly, commercial priorities have increasingly penetrated the design of toys, this being one aspect of the corporate organisation of children's play and leisure. An integral part of this has been an emphasis on the commodity and the life of commodities into which these toys fit, which subjugates more traditional play values. The thesis provides an explanation for much of the social shaping of today's most heavily marketed and popular toys by undertaking a political economy approach to the toy industry, its objectives and the changes within the industry.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.