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#584#585#586#587 Episode #588 - Hold On To Your Kids
(Peer Attachment and The Cult of Celebrity)

#589#590#591#592

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Sat 28 January 2012  Gabor Maté, Jake Halpern, Agnes Nairn, Carol Craig, Ellis Cashmore, Patrick Dietz, Robin Dunbar, Chris Rojek, Nick Davies, Charlotte de Barker, Dave Reid, Gintara Staponavicius, Bob Geldof
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Download Hour1 Download Hour2 Gabor Maté has advice for parents and anyone seeking to understand the youth of today - on the problems for kids who focus their attention on their peers instead of their parents. Like Alfie Kohn, he urges parents to eschew behavioral methods and instead to value long term relationships with their kids. We supplement his analysis with a radio adaptation of the film Starsuckers, on how the cult of celebrity is exploited for financial gain and political purposes.
This week, a remarkable presentation from Gabor Maté on the mind-body connection in the context of children's relationships. His central thesis is that kids naturally tend to form attachment relationships with their elders, but that a range of factors (such as behaviorist tactics used by parents) encourage them to focus on peers instead once they hit puberty. This directly contradicts a recent best seller which says that parents should just accept kids' peer-orientation and not seek to have such close relationships with their kids. Dr. Maté's presentation touches on a variety of aspects of growing up, from ODD to illegal drugs, whether to let babies cry and how to handle monosyllabic teens. It continues into the second hour.

We conclude with a radio adaptation of the 100 minute documentary, Starsuckers, about the cult of celebrity, reduced to 50 minutes. What is a celebrity, why does the media focus its users' attention and admiration on these sick people, and how does this affect society in general and young minds in particular? The film is broken into the following sections:

  1. Start 'em Young
  2. Keep 'em Hooked
  3. Hard-wired Urges
  4. Gathering Information
  5. Creating News
  6. The Great Illusion:- Taking Power
Does it matter that more than half the celebrity stories in the UK media are wholly or mainly constructed out of public relations material? Or that only a particular sort of person is chosen to become a celebrity? Or that fans are encouraged to relate to celebrities as if they were personal friends? Or that the speaker of the Lithuanian parliament is a member of the 'celebrities party'? The film concludes by noting how celebrities are used for political purposes to divert public attention towards certain topics and away from others.
Thanks to Kenneth Dowst for the pointer to Starsuckers
Episode 638, also featuring Gabor Maté, tackles similar themes, but looks at the misdirection of adults rather than children.
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