Good Example Of Criticism Of Postman Essay
In the article, “Wait a Minute Mr. Postman, Some Critical Remarks on Neil Postman’s Childhood Theory,” a lot of focus is placed on the issues raised by Postman. The analysts take a critical look into Postman submissions. In overall, they examine the truth and accuracy of Postman’s claims. They conclude that while Postman raises critical issues, he does not fully ventilate the points to their logical conclusions. In other words, as far as the observations of Postman are concerned, the truth remains unexcavated. There are several reasons for the incomplete commentary and arguments by Postman. One in the many lies in the corpus of double standards that Postman presents. In other words, one is left high and dry, unable to distinguish whether Postman fits within the progressive movement or remains conservative.
However, in all assertions that Postman submits, one factor comes out clearly. This is the passion for literacy and the word. According to Postman, the evolution of the world has had detrimental effects to literacy. Postman attempts to present the position that thanks to the evolving nature of the world, children would find themselves less literate as opposed to their parents who studied in the previous generation. While it is factual that literal studies in the conservative manner have declined, it is inaccurate to easily conclude that literacy as an institution dies out. This is because literacy is still promoted by other innovative ways such as the television and other electronic media. Like all the other conservatives fearful of innovation, Postman has little faith in the electronic discoveries. He argues that the same would not be able to promote literacy as should be the case. However, the analysts suggest that Postman is merely being conservative. In fact, the question posed for Postman is whether literacy should remain under the traditional modes while other areas are awash with innovation. By a large measure, the same suggests that Postman is merely resistance to change, a trait typically seen in the conservatives of his times.
Another area that brings forth Postman’s critic resonates around his argument on childhood based on his pedagogic studies. Postman presents the argument that in the current state of affairs, childhood is destroyed by the absence of literacy, school and shame. Accordingly, he argues these ingredients must not be tempered with even despite the ever changing environment. This conservative argument places Postman at odds with analysts who observe that childhood must not necessarily be limited to the three elements of literacy, school and shame. Further, it is argued that the institutions of literacy, school and shame merely undergo change and does not disappear completely as suggested by Postman. Further, Postman rejects the application of media arguing that media abuses children and adolescents. In the use of media, children fail to learn the very essential ingredients that remain critical for their growth. Instead, they learn diametrically new models and cultures which affect their wellbeing. For instance, Postman in rejecting the television argues that it is authoritarian, non-analytical and continuous without a definite end. This he argues is detrimental to the growth and wellbeing of the child. While one would be prepared to concur with Postman that children need analytical applications in life, the disagreement perhaps lays in the assertion that the television is non-analytical. In addition, Postman does not stop to ask what children make of media and not what media make of children.
Hoikkala, T., Rahkonen, O., Tigerstedt, C., & Tuormaa, J. (1987). Wait a Minute Mr. Postman! Some Critical Remarks on Neil Postman's Childhood Theories. Acta Sociologica, 87-99.