Penn State

MARY NAPOLI - associate professor of reading and children's literature, Penn State Harrisburg

Book Title: Researching Children's Popular Culture: The Cultural Spaces of Childhood

Author: Claudia Mitchell and Jacqueline Reid-Walsh

Book Description:

Working in the field of children's literature, I have the opportunity to read many books throughout the year. This particular scholarly work greatly impacted my research at a time when there was little information available about how to bridge literary scholarship with childhood studies. The authors argue for the importance of studying children's popular culture through an ethnographic lens. The work is a seminal read for anyone interested in helping to build critical readers in today's classrooms. With an increase of social media, advertisements of goods, and numerous web sites for children, the authors encourage readers to borrow Foucault's idea of heterotopia to analyze cyberspace.

This work really helped to navigate my understanding of the relationship between children's culture, childhood, and consumption. It is an accessible and insightful work that impacted my research inquiries and remains on my "must reread" list on an annual basis.


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