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One of the more important cultural currents was first detailed in one of sociologist Neil Postman’s most provocative works titled The Disappearance of Childhood. His thesis was that children are being robbed of their innocence, their naiveté, their ability to even be a child. He contended that in our world, we ask children to embrace mature issues and themes, experiences and issues, long before they are ready.
Postman argued that the very idea of childhood is that there is a time when a young person is sheltered from certain ideas, experiences, practices, expectations and knowledge. They are sheltered from adult secrets, particularly sexual ones. Certain facets of life – its mysteries, contradictions, tragedies, violence – are not considered suitable for children to know. Only as children grow into adulthood are they revealed in ways that they can assimilate psychologically, emotionally and spiritually.
Postman - Analysis - Prescient - Today - Girls
Postman’s analysis, first offered in 1982, was prescient. Today, 12- and 13-year-old girls are among the highest paid models in America, presented to us as knowing and sexually enticing adults.
Children’s literature no longer exists. Young Adult fiction is as mature in its themes as anything on the adult lists.
Language - Adults - Children - Life - Sociologists
The language of adults and children, including what they address in life, has become the same. It is virtually uncontested among sociologists that the behavior, language, attitudes and desires – and even the physical appearance – of adults and children are becoming indistinguishable.
Even the children on TV act like adults. They do not differ significantly in their interests, language, dress or sexuality from the adults on the show, making the same knowing wisecracks and tossing out the same sexual innuendo.
Line - Adult - World - Child - World
But when the line between the adult world and the child’s world becomes blurred (or no longer exists) childhood disappears.
But there is a new development that must be...
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