Then and Now
Then and Now
In the past, children were not considered children in the sense they are today, and if they could read, they read books for adults. This changed gradually after the publication of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's influential book on child rearing, Émile, ou De l'éducation, in 1762. As society's ideas about childhood and parenting began to shift, so did our ideas about which media are appropriate for children. This chapter describes how society's ideas about youth and media have been subject to swings of the pendulum since the seventeenth century. In addition, it compares the current generation with previous generations. Why are children and teens more self-aware and intelligent than ever? Why has youth culture become so dominant in society? Why do children display adult behavior at younger and younger ages? And lastly, what is media's role in these developments?
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