ERIC Number: EJ832619
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
"Depend on, Rely on, Count on": Economic Subjectivities Aboard "The Polar Express"
Children's Literature in Education, v40 n2 p136-148 Jun 2009
Christmas literature and film produced for children is an important, albeit under-researched, site for the production of cultural values and norms. This paper analyses Chris Van Allsburg's 1985 picture book "The Polar Express", the 2004 Warner Brothers feature film of the same title, the film's official website, and resources for teachers distributed online by Houghton Mifflin, considering how these texts construct childhood subjectivities in economic terms. The argument made is that nostalgic depictions of ordered, middle-class lifestyles, the representation of social class inequalities as immutable structural norms, and signifiers of corporate capitalism, together locate childhood and child subjectivities as inexorably tethered to socio-economic circumstance and experience.
Descriptors: Social Class, Picture Books, Children, Nonprint Media, Films, Web Sites, Educational Resources, Childrens Literature, Social Values, Socioeconomic Influences, Socioeconomic Status, Behavior Standards, Social Behavior, Cultural Influences, World Views
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A