Invisibly Blighted
The Digital Erosion of Childhood

Paper: 978 1 78277 050 3 / $32.95
Published: May 2017  

Publisher: UCL IOE Press
126 pp., 6 1/8" x 9 1/5"
Children carry the weight of other people's expectations on their shoulders, and in the technological age that represents a bigger burden than it ever has before. This book is a manifesto for a different digital future for children in which their rights are respected and their identities are free. The authors explore new ways of understanding children's risk, schooling, biometrics, privacy issues, and technology innovation. Aimed at anyone who has sensed the cultural shift in childhood currently taking place, this book helps readers think more deeply about what it means to be a child in the digital world today.

Table of Contents:
1. What is childhood?
2. How risky is it to be a child? Towards a sociology of uncertainty
3. Identity and biometrics: Convenience at the cost of privacy in English schools
4. Being safe online: The UK education system and safeguarding
5. The new normal? Sexting as a case study of children’s risk and stakeholder response
6. A safeguarding dystopia
7. A manifesto

Reviews & Endorsements:
"The authors offer a rare insight into the nuances of young people's lives online by talking with them rather than at them. Without an understanding of children's experience, those who are tasked with ensuring their safety are doomed to fail."
- Wendy M. Grossman, Author, journalist, and blogger
"This book has the rare combination of plain language and real-world examples that can bring up to speed those of us interested in the impact of digital technology on childhood without making us feel old or out-of-date. It also doesn't shy away from difficult issues, meaning the read isn't always comfortable, but it's always fascinating."
- Laura McInerney, Editor, Schools Week