Inventing the Child: 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Inventing the Child

1st Edition

By John Zornado


256 pages

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Paperback: 9780415979665
pub: 2006-05-01
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Hardback: 9781138142053
pub: 2016-03-30
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eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203944516
pub: 2013-10-18
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Now in paperback, Inventing the Child is a highly entertaining, humorous, and at times acerbic account of what it means to be a child (and a parent) in America at the dawn of the new millennium. J. Zornado explores the history and development of the concept of childhood, starting with the works of Calvin, Freud, and Rousseau and culminating with the modern 'consumer' childhood of Dr. Spock and television. The volume discusses major media depictions of childhood and examines the ways in which parents use different forms of media to swaddle, educate, and entertain their children. Zornado argues that the stories we tell our children contain the ideologies of the dominant culture - which, more often than not, promote 'happiness' at all costs, materialism as the way to happiness, and above all, obedience to the dominant order.


"Inventing the Child will be an insightful read for anyone interested in children's literature and children's psychological development." -- Choice

"This book is passionate, accessible, often clever, and always irreverent discussion of the ways that child-rearing pedagogy has shaped not only children's books in the western tradition but 'the story of childhood' itself." -- Children's Literature Association Quarterly

About the Author

John Zornado is Associate Professor of English at Rhode Island College .

About the Series

Children's Literature and Culture

Founding Editor and Series Editor 1994-2011: Jack Zipes

Series Editor, 2011-2018: Philip Nel


Founded by Jack Zipes in 1994, Children's Literature and Culture is the longest-running series devoted to the study of children’s literature and culture from a national and international perspective. Dedicated to promoting original research in children’s literature and children’s culture, in 2011 the series expanded its focus to include childhood studies, and it seeks to explore the legal, historical, and philosophical conditions of different childhoods. An advocate for scholarship from around the globe, the series recognizes innovation and encourages interdisciplinarity. Children's Literature and Culture offers cutting-edge, upper-level scholarly studies and edited collections considering topics such as gender, race, picturebooks, childhood, nation, religion, technology, and many others. Titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / Children's Literature