Donata Muntean, Charles Sturt University, NSW, Australia,

Pester PowerDonata Muntean, Charles Sturt University, NSW, AustraliaMelanie was exhausted. She had just collected her daughter from school after a difficult dayat work. Now she was about to start preparing dinner. She sighed as her seven-year-oldscowled at her. Annie scuffed her shoes across the kitchen floor, leaving dirty scratch markson the tiles. ‘But Mum, everyone at school has a Clarabel doll! It’s not fair – I never get thetoys I want.’ Melanie admitted to herself that what Annie said was true. Being a financiallystretched single parent meant her daughter rarely got any special treats.While Melanie believed strongly that children should not be given everything they demand,she could still empathise with Annie’s wants. Annie had had a difficult time settling in toschool, and would often come home in tears because she had been teased. Now she wouldbe judged as uncool by the other girls in her class because she didn’t have a Clarabel dolland no doubt be subjected to more bullying. When had society become so superficial thateven children judged each other according to their belongings? Clarabel had beenadvertised aggressively in the media. The doll was the latest craze and every girl of Annie’sage seemed desperate to have a Clarabel of her own. But whether or not Melanie wanted tobuy the doll for her daughter was irrelevant; the price put Clarabel firmly out of Melanie’s