The Plug-In Drug

The Plug-In Drug

Television, Computers, and Family Life

Format
Paperback
Price
$16.00
 
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780142001080
  • 352 Pages
  • Penguin Books
  • Adult

Overview

How does the passive act of watching television and other electronic media-regardless of their content-affect a developing child’s relationship to the real world? Focusing on this crucial question, Marie Winn takes a compelling look at television’s impact on children and the family. Winn’s classic study has been extensively updated to address the new media landscape, including new sections on: computers, video games, the VCR, the V-Chip and other control devices, TV programming for babies, television and physical health, and gaining control of your TV.
The Plug-In Drug

The Plug-In Drug

Marie Winn

Praise

“Still the definitive work on how and why television harms the minds and spirits of children.” Howard Gardner, Harvard Graduate School of Education and co-author of Good Work: Where Excellence and Ethics Meet

“Extremely important…ought to be read by every parent.” Los Angeles Times

“No one has captured the devastating effects of television the way Marie Winn has. The latest research coupled with candid and inspiring correspondence from actual families make this the best edition yet.”Jim Trelease, author of The Read-Aloud Handbook

Table of Contents

Preface
The Good-Enough Family
Note about the Twenty-fifth Anniversary Edition

Part I. The Television Experience
1. It’s Not What You Watch
The Concerns
About the Contents and Susceptible Kids
What Does Not Happen
Why Do Parents Focus on Content?
Television Savants
A Strange and Wonderful Quiet

2. A Changed State of Consciousness
Television Zombies
The Shutdown Mechanism
Concentration or Stupor?
Passivity
The Reentry Syndrome

3. The Power of the Medium
Why Is It So Hard to Stop Watching?
Why It Captures the Child
Cookies or Heroin?

4. The Experts
Dr. Spock and the Tube
The Medical Establishment
Physical Effects

5. Television and Violence: A Different Approach
First a Disclaimer
Looking for a Link
Making the Wrong Connection

Part II. Television and Early Childhood
6. Television for Tots
Baby Viewers
Sesame Street Revisited
The Echoes of Sesame Street
How Much Do They Understand?

7. Television and the Brain
Brain Changes
Critical Early Experience
A Caveat
Nonverbal Thinking
Brain Hemispheres
A Commitment to Language

8. Television and Play
Less Play
The Meaning of Play
An Experiment of Nature
Play Deprivation

Part III. Television and the School Years
9. A Defense of Reading
What Happens When You Read
Losing the Thread
The Basic Building Blocks
A Preference for Watching
Home Attitudes
Lazy Readers
Nonbooks
What About Harry Potter?
Radio and Reading
If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em
Why Books?

10. Television and School
A Negative Relationship
A Stepping Stone out of a Stumbling Block (Media Literacy)
Television for Homework
Commercials in the Classroom
A Primary Factor

Part IV. How Parents Use Television
11. Before Television
The Bad Old Days
A New Light on Childhood
How Modern Parents Survived Before Television
Finally It “Took”

12. Free Time and Resourcefulness
No Free Time
Attachment and Separation
Why Kids Can’t Amuse Themselves
“Nothing to Do”
Competing with TV
The Half-Busy Syndrome
Waiting on Children
Sickness as a Special Event
Back to the Past

13. Family Life
The Quality of Life
Family Rituals
Real People
Undermining the Family

Part V. New Technologies
14. Computers in the Classroom
Do They Help?
Big Bucks
Computers in Early Childhood
Why Computers Are Not the Answer
What Are They Replacing?
The Computer-Television Connection
Why Not Get Rid of Them?
The Problems of Bucking the Tide
Computers to Enhance Reading
Computer vs. Workbook
On the High School and College Front
A Matter of Balance

15. Home Electronics
The VCR
A Wonderful Addition to the Family
Lapware
Computer Toys
Video Games
Computer Games
Screen Time

Part VI. Controlling Television
16. Out of Control
How Parents Get Hooked
A Terrible Saga
Undisciplined, Grumpy Children
Ten Reasons Why Parents Can’t Control TV
Ubiquity
A Chilling Episode
A Longing for Passivity

17. Gaining Control
Real Conviction
Firm Rules
Control Devices and the V-Chip
Natural Control
Decontrol as a Means of Control
Help from the Outside
Videoholics Anonymous

Part VII. No Television
18. TV Turnoffs
Three Family Before-and-After Experiments
Organized TV Turnoffs
Why Did They Go Back?

19. No-TV Families
Getting Rid of Television: Four Families That Did It
No Television Ever

CODA: The Television Generation
Who Is the Televisin Generation?
Mystery of the Declining SATs
Making Inferences
Writing Is Book Talk
Television and the Social Chill
What Is to be Done?
The Passive Pull

Helpful Organizations
Brief Bibliography
Endnotes
Acknowledgments
Index

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