Inventing the Child

Culture, Ideology and the Story of the Child

By Joseph L. Zornado

© 2000 – Garland Science

256 pages

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Hardback: 9780815335245
pub: 2000-12-20
Currently out of stock

About the Book

This book traces the historical roots of Western culture's stories of childhood in which the child is subjugated to the adult. Going back 400 years, it looks again at Hamlet, fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, and Walt Disney cartoons. 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. John 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.

About the Series

Children's Literature and Culture

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.

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