The article, "The House of Dreams," written by Jane Addams describes her concerns for children in regard to how the theater threatens their morality.
Addams argues that children in the labor force are without access to newspapers and moral guidance and as a result, fall prey to the fantasy of the theater. Addams argues that the children viewing these performances and dramas will mimic the often risky and amoral behavior expressed in the dramas.
"Is it not astounding that a city allows thousands of its youth to fill their impressionable minds with these absurdities which certainly will become the foundation for their working moral codes and the data from which they will judge the properties of life?"
Addams conservative views on morals and media reminded me of a radio broadcast I heard last week titled "On Protecting Girlhood" featuring Caitlin Flanagan, author of Girl Land.
Flanagan discusses the dangers children (girls) face with unlimited access to information.
Her concerns are largely centered around culture as expressed through the media of today, the internet and cell phones, specifically the 24/7 access to popular culture's images of girls and women, as well as pornography. This unlimited and easily accessed information often comes without the benefit of real life experience, knowledge, and supervision or accompanied by explanation.
Flanagan's concerns echo Addams' in that both women worry that access to unsupervised information or information without explanation will lead young people astray and at risk of making bad decisions.
Have the internet and cell phones had an effect on adolescence? Is the problem culture or media?
How do you envision the future of adolescence for young people with increasingly accessible media?