The Disappearance of Childhood

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Jun 8, 2011 - Social Science - 192 pages
2 Reviews
From the vogue for nubile models to the explosion in the juvenile crime rate, this modern classic of social history and media traces the precipitous decline of childhood in America today−and the corresponding threat to the notion of adulthood.

Deftly marshaling a vast array of historical and demographic research, Neil Postman, author of Technopoly, suggests that childhood is a relatively recent invention, which came into being as the new medium of print imposed divisions between children and adults. But now these divisions are eroding under the barrage of television, which turns the adult secrets of sex and violence into poprular entertainment and pitches both news and advertising at the intellectual level of ten-year-olds.

Informative, alarming, and aphorisitc, The Disappearance of Childhood is a triumph of history and prophecy.
 

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User Review  - elliepotten - LibraryThing

Though this book was written about twenty years ago – and therefore riddled with outdated media references – its ideas are thought-provoking and as relevant today as they were on their original ... Read full review

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User Review  - georgeslacombe - LibraryThing

The best book on this topic. I would recommend for everyone who wants a better understanding of our time. Read full review

Contents

Chapter
3
Chapter
9
The Printing Press and the New Adult
20
The Incunabula of Childhood
37
Childhoods Joumey
52
The Beginning of the End
67
The Total Disclosure Medium
81
The AdultChild
98
The Disappearing Child
120
Six Questions
143
Notes 155
154
63
163
7
173
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About the author (2011)

Neil Postman was University Professor, Paulette Goddard Chair of Media Ecology, and Chair of the Department of Culture and Communication at New York University. Among his twenty books are studies of childhood (The Disappearance of Childhood), public discourse (Amusing Ourselves to Death), education (Teaching as a Subversive Activity and The End of Education), and the impact of technology (Technopoly). His interest in education was long-standing, beginning with his experience as an elementary and secondary school teacher. He died in 2003.

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