Hi, welcome to Bookey. Today we will unlock the book The Disappearance of Childhood by Neil Postman.
Everyone has experienced childhood; but what does childhood mean to you? For most people, childhood is perhaps innocent, happy, and free from anxiety. That is why most people cannot help missing childhood after they grow up.
The reason we miss childhood is that the world of adults is much more complicated, difficult, and uglier than that of children. But what would the world be like if childhood were to disappear? You might wonder: “How can childhood disappear? It is a necessary stage for everyone and will always be there.”
But look around you: children are becoming more like adults in terms of both clothing and behavior. They compete with adults on quiz shows; they participate in games with adults on variety shows. They have clear logic and reasoning in their speech like little adults. On the other hand, some adults consider themselves to still be children, and they are unwilling to face the world of adults. All of these social phenomena serve as a warning to us: the distinction between children and adults is blurring, and childhood is disappearing.
What leads to the disappearance of childhood? This book will break it down for you step by step. The author of this book, Neil Postman, was a renowned scholar and critic of media culture. He taught at New York University and founded the major of media ecology there. He published eighteen books and wrote over two hundred articles for major journals such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Los Angles Times. His major publications, Amusing Ourselves to Death and The Disappearance of Childhood, have been translated into many languages and published in many countries. He came up with the concept of “amusing ourselves to death,” which has consistently triggered worldwide discussion and contemplation. As for The Disappearance of Childhood, Postman claimed that it was his favorite among his published books.
Postman wrote this book because he noticed how childhood was disappearing in daily life. The rapid disappearance made him feel distressed and sorrowful. He demonstrated evidence of the disappearance of childhood to the world with this book, hoping to draw people’s attention. At the same time, as a scholar of media culture, he discovered through observation the key impact media had on the invention and disappearance of childhood.
Through this book, Postman tells us about how printing created the concept of childhood and how electronic media made it disappear. Through his observations and professional knowledge, he provided us with a theory that could explain the phenomenon of the disappearance of childhood. By the way, this book was first published in 1982; when it was republished in 1994, Postman added some new content to it, based on the original book.
Now, we will unlock this book for you in three parts.
Firstly, where does childhood come from?
Secondly, how is childhood disappearing?
Thirdly, what can we do about the disappearance of childhood?