1 University of Rome "Foro Italico" (ITALY)
2 University of Chieti-Pescara "G. D'Annunzio" (ITALY)
3 University of La Rioja (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2019 Proceedings
Publication year: 2019
Pages: 3079-3084
ISBN: 978-84-09-14755-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2019.0786
Conference name: 12th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 11-13 November, 2019
Location: Seville, Spain
Sociologists and educationists have used the term Disneyization to describe a society in which the individual’s life is massively influenced by mass media, digital visual technologies, merchandising, and entertainment culture. In 1977, Italian psychologist Ezio Ponzo wrote a book entitled “The simplified or non-existent child” in which he stressed how adults tend to understand and interpret the child by using simplified schemes based on stereotypes and prejudices coming from mass media culture. Also, he demonstrated through ethnographic research how, in perceiving the body shape of their children, mothers were prejudiced by a certain idea of infancy influenced by Walt Disney’s characters and movies.

There is no doubt that, actually, advertising culture and digital visual technologies influence the perception of infancy and the child in contemporary society. Contemporary children and early children use to spend much of their daily time immersed in a digital world, in which advertising aimed to hybrid consumption is mixed with the use of new digital and visual technologies.

By using a neutral approach and interpretation about the current influence of the digital visual technologies and consumption culture on the individual, our paper aims to reflect upon positive and negative characteristics of the world contemporary early children are immersed in. In so doing, we will use some data from two questionnaires administered to a group of mothers and young students aimed to detect their opinion about the influence of digital visual technologies and consumption culture on their children (in the case of the first sample), and on the positive or negative effect about the use of these technologies when they were children (in the case of young students).

In conclusion, we are going to sketch the principles of a critical pedagogy aimed to analyze and find a balance between both positive and negative effects of digital visual technologies and consumption culture on early childhood education by using its benefits for a better and neither stereotyped nor prejudiced perception of infancy in contemporary society.
Critical Pedagogy, Early Childhood, Technology, Learning, Education.