The recently launched book covers topics like gender beliefs and other stereotypes, living with differences, tolerance and it's challenges, socialization, understanding privilege, reinventing parenting, talking through differences, anorexia, and bulimia, the new childhood and how to be safe in an interconnected world.
Communication scholars at MICA, Ahmedabad, India's premier institute of Strategic Marketing and Communications, have laid a roadmap for conscious parenting in an increasingly fragmented world in their recently launched book.
The book 'Raising a Humanist: Conscious Parenting in an Increasingly Fragmented World' authored by MICA Prof. Manisha Pathak-Shelat and Ms. Kiran Vinod Bhatia (FPM alumna), looks at challenges faced by parents and educators on various issues that include religion, class, caste, gender identities and body image. It categorically debunks parenting myths, provides a deeper understanding of the impact of popular culture, and highlights
different ways of using art, technology, and media to nurture young minds.
The book was virtually launched in the presence of Prof. Dirrisa Chouit, Professor of Comparative Linguistics, Communication and Media Studies, UMI, Morocco, and Dr. Preeti Shroff, Dean, MICA Ahmedabad.
The book covers topics like gender and other stereotypes, living with differences, tolerance and challenges, socialization, understanding privilege, reinventing parenting, collaborating to challenge discrimination, anorexia, and bulimia, the new childhood, using social media purposively, and how to be safe in an interconnected world. The conversational language and real life examples make the book accessible and interesting.
It suggests the parents set their children free to question anything and everything while it empowers parents to feel free to hold on to their opinions but check where they are coming from. It asks parents to read, travel, and watch thought-provoking films and shows to get first-hand experiences of people and places who are different.
Dr. Manisha Pathak-Shelat, the co-author of the book and Chair, Centre for Development Management and Communication, MICA, says, "We understand that raising children who are open and critical, strong and compassionate, who believe in freedom and respect other people's rights is never going to be an easy task."
She further says, "We have no easy answers to many burning questions, such as questions about territory and rights. Should you stop others from entering your habitats and discriminate against them just because you arrived before them in that area? At the same time, should you take over your host community and change their generation's old ways of living just because you are larger in number and the sheer number makes you more powerful than them?"
She adds, "When and how should we encourage our children to take a stand? It has been a difficult book to write precisely because these are times when what is going on in the world makes us question the wisdom in being kind, fair, and critical.
Ms. Kiran Bhatia, FPM alumna of MICA and a doctoral candidate at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison says, “The content of the book may raise more questions than it can answer, and if that happens, we will believe that our work has been a success".
The authors have explored findings from academic studies and their own research. They have drawn inspiration from several scholars such as Paulo Freire, Michel Foucault, Kamla Bhasin, Stuart Hall, and thinkers like Mahatma Gandhi, Gautam Buddha, and Wangari Mathai, keeping in mind the realities of the present times. This book is the beginning of a long conversation on parenting and nurturing young people in times of uncertainties", concludes Dr. Shelat.
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