Susan Linn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

photo by Jodi Craine

Susan Linn is co-founder and director of the coalition Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.  Dr. Linn lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, with her husband and daughter.

Read Dr. Linn's blog posts here.

 

Celebrate Screen-Free Week!

April 29 - May 5, 2013

 

 

The Case for Make Believe

  Saving Play in a Commercialized World

"The Case for Make Believe" is a wonderful look at how playing can heal children, how in "pretend-worlds" they can find their truest selves. As for Linn, she's an inspiringly playful woman whose compassion and fierce advocacy for kids is on every page of this terrific book."

- The Boston Globe

In her new book, The Case for Make Believe, Linn argues that while play is crucial to human development and children are born with an innate capacity for make believe, the convergence of ubiquitous technology and unfettered commercialism actually prevents them from playing.  In modern-day America, nurturing creative play is not only counter-cultural - it threatens corporate profits.

Both timely and important, The Case for Make Believe helps readers understand how crucial child's play is - and what parents and educators can do to protect it.  At the heart of the book are stories of children at home, in school, and at a therapist's office playing about real-life issues from entering kindergarten to a sibling's death, revealing feelings they can't express directly, and making meaning of an often confusing world.

In an era when toys come from television and media companies sell videos as brain-builders for babies, Linn lays out the inextricable links between play, creativity, and health, showing us how and why to preserve the space for make believe that children need to be happy and to become productive adults.

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Consuming Kids

The Hostile Takeover of Childhood

“A cri de coeur on behalf of people too young to suspect how their ‘share of mind’ is being jealously divided. . . . Linn does a fine job of exposing the wickedness of preying commercially on the young.”

–The Wall Street Journal

"A measured, but ultimately devastating, critique of consumerism and American childhood.”

–Mother Jones

In Consuming Kids, psychologist Susan Linn takes a comprehensive and unsparing look at the demographic advertisers call "the kid market," taking readers on a compelling and disconcerting journey through modern childhood as envisioned by commercial interests. Children are now the focus of a marketing maelstrom, targets for everything from minivans to M&M counting books. All aspects of children's lives—their health, education, creativity, and values—are at risk of being compromised by their status in the marketplace.

Interweaving real-life stories of marketing to children, child development theory, the latest research, and what marketing experts themselves say about their work, Consuming Kids reveals the magnitude of this problem and shows what can be done about it.