《The Disappearance of Childhood》的笔记-Introduction
- 2015-09-01 00:21:11
Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.... Unlike infancy, childhood is a social artefact, not a biological category. Our genes contain no clear instructions about who is and who is not a child (我并不太同意这一点）。。。。The custom of celebrating a child's birthday did not exist in America throughout most of the eighteenth century, and, in fact, the precise marking of a child's age in any way is a relatively recent cultural habit, no more than two hundred years old.To take a more important example: As late as 1890, American high schools enrolled only seven percent of the fourteen-through seventeen-year-old population. Along with many much younger children, the other ninety-three percent worked at adult labour, some of them from sunup to sunset in all of our great cities.But we must not confuse, at the outset, social facts with social ideas. The idea of childhood is one of the great inventions of the Renaissance. Perhaps its most humane one. Along with science, the nation-state, and religious freedom, childhood as both a social structure and a psychological condition emerged around the sixteenth century and has been refined and nourished into our own times.........Part 2 puts us in modern times, and tries to show how the shift from Gutenberg's world to Samuel Morse's has made childhood as a social structure difficult to sustain and, in fact, irrelevant.
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