Disappearance of Childhood

Neil Postman
The Disappearance of Childhood
New York : Vintage Books , 1994
Pgs . 155
The book The Disappearance of Childhood written my Neil Postman
describes the historical development of the ideal and social makeup of
modern childhood childhood even though it is something biological , its
core rest with a cultural construct . He begins in the Renaissance a
period of time that saw the invention of the printing press and the need
for literacy . The author insists that social pressures and especially
the electronic media of today are pushing childhood to its end as a
social institution . Postman uses examples to show that everywhere we
look the behavior , language , attitudes , desires and even physical
appearance of children and adults are becoming harder and harder to
distinguish the differences . In essence , children are becoming adults
sooner . He gives encouragement and suggestions for parents on how to
stand firm against this change . His thesis for writing the book is ,
``the main contribution of this book , such as it is , does not reside in
the claim that childhood is disappearing but in a theory as to why such
a thing should be happening (xiii .
The book is comprised of two parts the first , chapters one through
four , discusses the historical aspects as when the notion of childhood
began , the influence of the printing press , the period of time that the
printing press began to when the concept of childhood took hold and
brings everything up to the point of the beginning of the disappearance
of childhood . The second half is the disappearance of the notion of
childhood covering chapters five through eight . The author contends
that , ``The maintenance of childhood depended on the principles of
managed information and sequential learning (72 . I liked the way he
put the question to what we would pay for openness and candor he
answered , ``if we turn over to children a vast store of...