The Children's Culture Reader / Edition 1

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Far from noncombatants whom we seek to protect from the contamination posed by adult knowledge, children form the very basis on which we fight over the nature and values of our society, and over our hopes and fears for the future. Unfortunately, our understanding of childhood and children has not kept pace with their crucial and rapidly changing roles in our culture.

Pulling together a range of different thinkers who have rethought the myths of childhood innocence, The Children's Culture Reader develops a profile of children as creative and critical thinkers who shape society even as it shapes them. The Children's Culture Reader focuses on issues of parent-child relations, child labor, education, play, and especially the relationship of children to mass media and consumer culture. The contributors include Martha Wolfenstein, Philippe Aries, Jacqueline Rose, James Kincaid, Lynn Spigel, Valerie Walkerdine, Ellen Seiter, Annette Kuhn, Eve Sedgwick, Henry Giroux, and Nancy Scheper-Hughes. The reader includes a groundbreaking introduction by the editor and a sourcebook section which excerpts a range of material from popular magazines to child rearing guides from the past 75 years.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In Sacred Bond: Black Men and their Mothers, Keith M. Brown has gathered 35 interviews with black men on a subject close to their hearts. Accompanying b&w photos by Adger W. Cowans, these short pieces become meditations on motherhood but also on the challenges of raising a black man in America. Author tour. (Little, Brown, $25 288p ISBN 0-316-10556-2; Nov.) According to editor Henry Jenkins, The Children's Culture Reader "is intended both to explore what the figure of the child means to adults and to offer a more complex account of children's own cultural lives." He has compiled a selection of essays by the likes of Philippe Aries, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Henry Giroux, Martha Wolfenstein and Lynn Spiegel to analyze "how our culture defines what it means to be a child, how adult institutions impact on children's lives, and how children construct their cultural and social identities." (New York Univ., $75 500p ISBN 0-8147-4231-9; paper $24.95, -4232-7; Nov.) Cynthia A. Kierner debunks the myth of the delicate flower of Southern womanhood in Beyond the Household: Women's Place in the Early South, 1700-1835. From the earliest settlements onward, Southern women worked hard and long to provide the underpinnings of life in a new land. Examining the influence of slavery, religion and the dominance of the ideals of republican politics and of gentility, Kierner shows how these women were kept in their place for more than a hundred years. 22 b&w photos. (Cornell Univ., $49.95 304p ISBN 0-8014-3453-X; paper $17.95 -8462-6; Nov.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814742327
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 532
  • Sales rank: 673,594
  • Product dimensions: 6.94 (w) x 9.88 (h) x 1.44 (d)

Meet the Author

Henry Jenkins is Provost’s Professor of Communication, Journalism, Cinematic Arts, and Education at USC. He is author of five books, most recently Convergence Culture (2008), Fans, Bloggers, and Gamers (2006), The Wow Climax (2006), all available from NYU Press, and is co-author or editor of eight other books on media and communication.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Childhood Innocence and Other Modern Myths 1
Pt. I Childhood Innocence
1 From Immodesty to Innocence 41
2 The Case of Peter Pan: The Impossibility of Children's Fiction 58
3 Children in the House: The Material Culture of Early Childhood 67
4 From Useful to Useless: Moral Conflict over Child Labor 81
5 The Making of Children's Culture 95
6 Seducing the Innocent: Childhood and Television in Postwar America 110
7 Unlearning Black and White: Race, Media, and the Classroom 136
8 The New Childhood: Home Alone As a Way of Life 159
9 Child Abuse and the Unconscious in American Popular Culture 178
Pt. II Childhood Sexuality
10 Fun Morality: An Analysis of Recent American Child-Training Literature 199
11 The Sensuous Child: Benjamin Spock and the Sexual Revolution 209
12 How to Bring Your Kids Up Gay 231
13 Producing Erotic Children 241
14 Popular Culture and the Eroticization of Little Girls 254
15 Stealing Innocence: The Politics of Child Beauty Pageants 265
16 A Credit to Her Mother 283
Pt. III Child's Play
17 Children's Desires/Mothers' Dilemmas: The Social Contexts of Consumption 297
18 Boys and Girls Together ... But Mostly Apart 318
19 Boy Culture 337
20 The Politics of Dollhood in Nineteenth-Century America 363
21 Older Heads on Younger Bodies 382
22 Confections, Concoctions, and Conceptions 394
23 Living in a World of Words 406
24 The Tidy House 431
Pt. IV Sourcebook
Sect. A Introduction 456
25 Reaching Juvenile Markets 459
26 Does Your "Research" Embrace the Boy of Today? 462
27 "Selling" Food to Children 463
Sect. B The Family in Crisis 468
28 After the Family - What? 469
29 Against the Threat of Mother Love 470
Sect. C Children at War 476
30 Children in Wartime: Parents' Questions 477
31 You Are Citizen Soldiers 480
32 Raise Your Boy to Be a Soldier 483
Sect. D Popular Culture and the Family 485
33 "Such Trivia As Comic Books" 486
34 The Play's the Thing 493
Sect. E Freedom and Responsibility 496
35 New Parents for Old 497
36 Families and the World Outside 499
37 Time Bombs in Our Homes 501
38 Democratic and Autocratic Child Rearing 503
Sect. F The Permissive Family 507
39 The Contemporary Mother and Father 508
40 The New Oedipal Drama of the Permissive Family 510
41 The Modern Pediocracy 512
Contributors 515
Permissions 518
Index 523
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