The Death of Childhood: Reinventing the Joy of Growing Up
Written by an international expert on the effects of media on children, The Death of Childhood provides a fascinating—and sobering—look at what it means to grow up in America today. Following in the footsteps of Neil Postman, Marie Winn, and Mary Pipher, this riveting and heart-breaking book is an obituary to childhood, exploring its origins and tracing its progress to what could be its bitter end in the early 21st century—if we don’t act now to resuscitate it.
No longer are we raising children in the idyllic world that many of today’s grandparents and parents remember—a world filled with kick-the-can, unsupervised bike adventures and dog-walking, and the freedom to explore. Now, thanks to the Internet, new technology, and social networking, the complexion of childhood has changed and there are no adult “secrets” anymore—the answer to every question exists a fingertip’s reach away in cyberspace. It’s not just technology and media that are changing, childhood is also suffering the effects of underfunded schools, inattentive parents, a plethora of guns, and a hostile society. Despite all of that, this book shows that there is hope, and offers solutions to restore the charm and innocence of childhood.
Dr Victor Strasburger is an eminent American pediatrician and adolescent medicine specialist. He is the Founding Chief of the Division of Adolescent Medicine and Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics Emeritus at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine in Albuquerque, USA, where he has worked for the past 30 years. He has authored more than 200 articles and papers and 14 books (including one novel) on the subjects of adolescent medicine, and the effects of television on children and adolescents. He is the co-author of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ famous 2-hour media rule for children and adolescents and several other AAP policy statements. Dr Strasburger is a Fulbright Scholar who has lectured in 48 of the 50 United States and on five continents, and has appeared on “Oprah” and “Today”.
“It is a much different world for children today. The Death of Childhood helps us navigate this complex terrain. [It is a] must-read for educators, parents, researchers, and policy makers.”
Ed Donnerstein, PhD
Dean Emeritus, University of Arizona
“Raising children is probably the most important job parents have, but it is a tough job (to say the least). Parents want to get it right, but often don’t know where to turn for valid and reliable information about how to raise their children. I suggest that they turn to Dr. Victor Strasburger’s book, The Death of Childhood. This is a well-documented book that provides parents useful and accurate answers to their most important questions (such as, how much media is too much?).
Brad Bushman, PhD
Professor of Communications, Ohio State University
“I found [this book] impressively researched and documented... [It is] a powerful, well-documented argument for rethinking childhood and our approach to it from the parenting to the educational perspectives.”
David Elkind, PhD
Professor of Child Development Emeritus, Tufts University
“This book is timely, easy to read, [and] is well-researched. It will greatly benefit parents and grandparents who read it and children in the care of such people. Anyone who cares about children or the future of our society also should pay close attention to the key public policy issues raised in this book. How do we teach and socialize children into adolescence and into a physically and emotionally healthy young adulthood? How do we regulate digital space in ways that foster positive growth and an accurate understanding of the world and our place in it? How can we reclaim a positive historical role for childhood, one that keeps the fun and enjoyment of learning and growing with others and that simultaneously uses modern technologies to enhance childhood rather than destroying it? Vic Strasburger hits on these issues in an engaging, often humorous, way.”
Craig A. Anderson
Editor-in-Chief, Aggressive Behavior; Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Iowa State University
“The Death of Childhood boldly explains the myriad challenges and threats facing kids and teens today. From our gun culture to the obesity epidemic (and so much more!), Dr Strasburger’s insights are seen through his unique lens as an expert on media. This book will inform the knowledge, attitudes, and response of parents, educators, mental health experts, pediatricians and other healthcare providers, as well as policy makers.”
Former Chair, AAP Committee on Communications; Professor of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota, USA
"This book, written by an expert who cares deeply about children, lays bare just how much modern media interferes with a child’s health and development, but at the same time offers many helpful suggestions for what parents, government, and institutions can do to make things better.”
Kelly D. Brownell,
Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Duke University
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