ERIC Number: EJ947026
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Nov
Reference Count: 10
Can the Teddy Bear Speak?
Childhood: A Global Journal of Child Research, v18 n4 p411-418 Nov 2011
One of the most perplexing aspects of global childhood is how its material culture emerges, circulates, takes on hegemonic traits and becomes contested. Though debates around the impact and nature of globalization have tended to take such artefacts as McDonald's hamburgers and the Islamic veil as signifiers of the possible emergence of a global (counter) culture, the material culture of childhood has remained largely outside the scope of such debates. This in spite of the staggering multiplication and circulation of such objects as dolls and plush toys, whose ubiquitous and unrelenting presence in the life of children offers, the author argues, fascinating opportunities for understanding children's agency. The author suggests that trying to unravel the relationship between significant objects that act and speak and the powerless and marginalized they simultaneously speak to and speak for may be a particularly fruitful way to advance the cause of "critical childhood studies". Taking the teddy bear as an example, the author contends that one should seriously consider if, though inanimate, teddy bear has agency and may even be able to speak. Here, the author first shortly describes three stories of teddy bear agency and then discusses them in the light of the available scholarship on the fluffy child (and adult) companion.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A