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ERIC Number: EJ927119
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jul
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 46
ISSN: ISSN-0039-3746
The Disappearance of Adulthood
Quill, Lawrence
Studies in Philosophy and Education, v30 n4 p327-341 Jul 2011
In 1982, Neil Postman wrote "The Disappearance of Childhood." In that work, Postman recounted the invention of childhood in the modern world and its demise at the hands of, among other things, the electronic media (principally television). In Postman's view, television had transformed education into "edutainment." The implications of this loss were devastating. Taking up where Postman left off I wish to reexamine his claim and amend and update his thesis by suggesting that, after the latest electronic turn, we now live in societies where a meaningful conception of "adulthood" is disappearing. It is disappearing, in part, because of an impoverished conception of citizenship. Yet it is additionally undermined because, claims to the ascendancy of the "knowledge worker" notwithstanding, the fundamental connection between education and employment is unraveling. In this climate, the purposes of education are constantly queried and scrutinized as its "telos" is redefined by criteria external to the practice of education: cost-effectiveness, value-for-money, and so on. I suggest that only be reclaiming a meaningful conception of adulthood can education be defended and only by so doing can individuals hope to understand the world around them.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A