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ERIC Number: EJ924042
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Mar
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0039-3746
Wanted: "Real" Children. About Innocence and Nostalgia in a Commodified Childhood
Vanobbergen, Bruno
Studies in Philosophy and Education, v23 n2-3 p161-176 Mar 2004
Today childhood takes place within a multimedia context where education, marketing and entertainment operate together in one big melting pot. Childhood is commodified, a situation not everybody seems happy with. Due to increasing exposure with violence and sexual activities, for example in children's games, children seem to lose the chance to be "real" children. In the discussions about this commodified childhood, innocence and nostalgia seem omnipresent concepts. In this article we first analyse the discourse about the innocence of childhood as presented by Neil Postman in his bestseller "The Disappearance of Childhood." Here, childhood is seen as a period which can mainly be characterised in terms of a "not yet." However, Postman's view on childhood presents only one side of the romantic continuum. The other side--in which the child appears as having a nature of her own--can be illustrated by "On naive and sentimental poetry," an essay written by Friedrich Schillerin 1795. Both opposing views on childhood can lead to a different interpretation of the innocence of childhood. Finally, Schiller's dichotomy--the naive versus the sentimental poet--can be seen as a useful leg up to the clarification of nostalgia which seems to go hand in hand with the feeling of the loss of (one's own) childhood.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A