Thursday, July 8, 2021

The Disappearance of Childhood Explained (short summary)

The Disappearance of Childhood is a theory introduced by Niel Postman that holds that the modern media has a crucial impact on a change in family life patterns. Generational differences blur: childhood, adulthood, and old age become loose categories. Childhood becomes an integral part of a world of knowledge and images, which adults also share. The adults, for their part, "refuse to grow old"; They are objects of eternal youth and work hard to achieve them.

Throughout his life, the individual, through various social agents (parents, school, etc.), acquires beliefs, opinions and behaviors that make him part of society and help him to function within it successfully. In this process, the media has a special place, for two reasons: (a) Unlike traditional social media agents, the mass media accompanies the individual throughout his life; (B) The media systematically appropriate for themselves roles previously played by human agents.

According to Postman exposure to television is not conditional on any prior knowledge, does not require deep thought and does not select the audience watching it . Children, who used to be a distinct group from the adults, are now exposed to the media, which reveals to them prematurely the secrets of the adult world; Thus childhood has lost its distinctiveness in today's technological world. Examples of this are soap operas and telenovelas. These genres present a simplistic emotional world, detached from the socio-political realities. The nature of the television medium, which encourages unbridled consumption and instant gratification and competes for the attention of the young consumer, leads to the neglect of important values ​​such as complexity, heterogeneity, social involvement and political