Kid Stuff: Marketing Sex and Violence to America's Children

Overview

American children spend a substantial part of their lives watching television and movies, playing video games, and listening to music containing explicit sex and violence. From Doom and Grand Theft Auto III to Eminem and Marilyn Manson, a strain of the popular culture has become increasingly toxic. One of the most pressing?and controversial?issues facing parents and educators in America today is understanding how exposure to these media affects the social and psychological ...

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Overview

American children spend a substantial part of their lives watching television and movies, playing video games, and listening to music containing explicit sex and violence. From Doom and Grand Theft Auto III to Eminem and Marilyn Manson, a strain of the popular culture has become increasingly toxic. One of the most pressing—and controversial—issues facing parents and educators in America today is understanding how exposure to these media affects the social and psychological development and behavior of children and teenagers.

In Kid Stuff, Diane Ravitch and Joseph P. Viteritti bring together experts in media studies, child psychology, and public health to assess the dangers posed by "tox pop" to American society. Drawing on thirty years of research, the contributors find convincing evidence that such "entertainment" can harm children and teenagers, despite the self-serving denials of the media industry. Balancing their concerns for the welfare of children with respect for the First Amendment, Kid Stuff furthers the ongoing dialogue about how a democratic society can protect its children from the pernicious extremes of popular media.

Contributors: Craig A. Anderson, Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, Peter G. Christenson, Edward Donnerstein, Jeanne B. Funk, Todd Gitlin, Kay S. Hymowitz, Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn, Nell Minow, Newton Minow, Thomas N. Robinson, Stacy L. Smith

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Baltimore Sun - Susan Reimer
The expert authors of various chapters in this collection offer evidence of how damaging this stuff can be: from Todd Gitlin's explanation of how the pace of pop culture makes it almost impossible for kids to sit still for traditional classroom lessons to Peter G. Christenson's assertion that teens use song lyrics to frame their identities.
Washington Times - Martin Morse Wooster
Mrs. Ravitch and Mr. Viteritti, who are both affiliated with New York University, have assembled an interesting group of scholars to discuss the effects that violent media have on children... The authors remind us that caring parents are the best early warning system against teenage crime.
Baltimore Sun
The expert authors of various chapters in this collection offer evidence of how damaging this stuff can be: from Todd Gitlin's explanation of how the pace of pop culture makes it almost impossible for kids to sit still for traditional classroom lessons to Peter G. Christenson's assertion that teens use song lyrics to frame their identities.

— Susan Reimer

Washington Times
Mrs. Ravitch and Mr. Viteritti, who are both affiliated with New York University, have assembled an interesting group of scholars to discuss the effects that violent media have on children... The authors remind us that caring parents are the best early warning system against teenage crime.

— Martin Morse Wooster

The Baltimore Sun
The expert authors of various chapters in this collection offer evidence of how damaging this stuff can be: from Todd Gitlin's explanation of how the pace of pop culture makes it almost impossible for kids to sit still for traditional classroom lessons to Peter G. Christenson's assertion that teens use song lyrics to frame their identities. -- Susan Reimer
The Washington Times
Mrs. Ravitch and Mr. Viteritti, who are both affiliated with New York University, have assembled an interesting group of scholars to discuss the effects that violent media have on children . . . The authors remind us that caring parents are the best early warning system against teenage crime. -- Martin Morse Wooster
William Damon
Parents and educators too often feel that protecting children against the corrupting influences of the popular culture is futile. This incisive collection of essays offers a helpful understanding of the toxic nature of today's media and some real solutions for providing children with needed guidance. The book is the rarest, and most valuable, form of critique: it exposes an alarming condition that we have come to accept as inevitable and then shows how we can fight our way to a healthier future.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801873270
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 6/15/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Diane Ravitch

Diane Ravitch is a research professor in the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University and holds the Brown Chair in Education Policy at the Brookings Institution. She served as Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of Education from 1991 to 1993. Her most recent book is The Language Police: How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn. Joseph P. Viteritti is a research professor of public policy in the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University. His most recent book is Choosing Equality: School Choice, the Constitution and Civil Society. Together, Ravitch and Viteritti co-chair New York University's Program on Education and Civil Society and have edited three books, including City Schools: Lessons from New York, also available from Johns Hopkins.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

Contents:

List of Contributors

Acknowledgments1...Toxic Lessons: Children and Popular Culture

Diane Ravitch and Joseph P. Viteritti2... Teaching amid the Torrent of Popular Culture

Todd Gitlin3... Socializing Children in a Culture of Obscenity

Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn4... The Problem of Exposure: Violence, Sex, Drugs, and Alcohol

Stacy L. Sith and Ed Donnerstein5... Equipment for Living: How Popular Music Fits in the Lives of Youth

Peter G. Christenson6... Music at the Edge: The Attraction and Effects of Controversial Music on Young People

Jeffrey Jensen Arnett7... Video Games and Aggressive Behavior

Craig A. Anderson8... Violent Video Games: Who's at Risk?

Jeanne B. Funk9... The Effects of Cutting Back on Media Exposure

Thomas N. Robinson10... The Contradictions of Parenting in a Media Age

Kay S. Hymowitz11... The Role of Government in a Free Society

Newton Minow and Nell Minow

Index

Johns Hopkins University Press

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