Register today for the new course Children and the Media (COMC 3375)!
At least since Plato called for the banishment of the poets from his utopian Republic to shield the young from ‘harmful’ ideas, adults have been wondering and worrying about the impact of mediated communication on children. In recent centuries, the emergence of new communication technologies has been consistently accompanied by calls for censorship and regulation as frightened parents and anxious elders worried about the impact of these new media on the younger generations. Today’s children are interacting with technologies that would have seemed like science fiction only 50 years ago. What do we actually know about how mediated communication impacts the developing brain? What role should the government play? How do debates about kids and media become part of the large political divide between different groups of adults, with different visions about raising young people? In this course, we will draw from the methodological and theoretical traditions of both the social sciences and the humanities to examine the multi-faceted nature of the ongoing debates about young people and mediated communication.