Susan Linn at Harvard Book Store
Who’s Raising the Kids?:
Big Tech, Big Business,
and the Lives of Children
September 16, 2022
7:00 PM ET
Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
This event is free; no tickets are required.
Harvard Book Store welcomes SUSAN LINN—psychologist, award-winning ventriloquist, and a world-renowned expert on creative play and the impact of media and commercial marketing on children—for a discussion of her new book Who’s Raising the Kids?: Big Tech, Big Business, and the Lives of Children.
A Return to In-Person Events
Harvard Book Store is excited to be back to in-person programming. To ensure the safety and comfort of everyone in attendance, the following Covid-19 safety protocols will be in place at all of our Harvard Book Store events until further notice:
- Face coverings are required of all staff and attendees when inside the store. Masks must snugly cover nose and mouth.
About Who's Raising the Kids?
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, digital technologies had become deeply embedded in children’s lives, despite a growing body of research detailing the harms of excessive immersion in the unregulated, powerfully seductive, profit-driven world of the “kid-tech” industry.
In Who’s Raising the Kids? Linn—one of the world’s leading experts on the impact of Big Tech and big business on children—explores the roots and consequences of this monumental shift toward a digitized, commercialized childhood, focusing on kids’ values, relationships, and learning. From birth, kids have become lucrative fodder for a range of tech, media, and toy companies, from producers of exploitative games and social media platforms to “educational” technology and branded school curricula of dubious efficacy.
Noting that many Silicon Valley elites wouldn’t dream of exposing their young kids to the very technologies they’ve unleashed on other people’s children, Who’s Raising the Kids? is unique—a highly readable social critique and guide to protecting kids from exploitation by the tech, toy, and entertainment industries. Linn provides a deep and eye-opening dive into exactly how new technologies enable huge conglomerates to transform young children into lifelong consumers by infiltrating their lives and influencing their values, relationships and learning. She persuasively argues that our digitized-commercialized culture is damaging for kids and families as well as society at large, and maps out what we must do to change course.
Written with humor and compassion, the book concludes with two hopeful chapters—“Resistance Parenting” and “Making a Difference for Everybody’s Kids”—that chart a path for protecting kids from targeting by the tech, toy, and entertainment industries that treat them as lucrative bundles of data and as mini-consumers ripe for exploitation rather than as the children they need to be.
Praise for Who's Raising the Kids?
“Pioneer researcher and activist Susan Linn shows that we have been passive as our children were shaped into the selves that tech companies wanted them to be; adults have not met their duty of care. Who’s Raising the Kids? is a call to arms and a core text for a necessary national conversation.” —Sherry Turkle, professor, MIT, and author of The Empathy Diaries
“An invaluable response for parents at an impossible moment—and for those of us whose kids are already grown, a great guide to resisting the platforms and apps that are constricting the life of our society in ever more painful ways.” —Bill McKibben, author of The Flag, the Cross, and the Station Wagon: A Graying American Looks Back at His Suburban Boyhood and Wonders What the Hell Happened
“Who’s Raising the Kids? is a book about a dangerous divergence—between the profit-maximizing strategies of companies that market toys, apps, and social media to children, on the one hand, and the actual needs of children, on the other. Drawing from an impressive collection of studies and stories, Linn illuminates the harms of what she aptly calls ‘a corporate takeover of childhood’ and shows us what we can do to protect all our kids.” —Alfie Kohn, author of The Schools Our Children Deserve
Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes
As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.
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