Symbolic Childhood

by Daniel Thomas Cook (Volume editor)
Textbook XII, 296 Pages


In a dozen original essays, contributors to Symbolic Childhood engage directly with the politics of representation by scrutinizing the connection between the exercise of power and portrayals of children and childhood. The volume as a whole construes childhood not as a given category, transparently understood, but as a thoroughly social artifact infused with contradictory and inexact meaning. As a social construct, childhood is thus approached as an active production which can be taken apart and reconstructed in a variety of ways, and for a variety of purposes. Chapters examine a range of issues and topics, including: precocious and gifted children, gender, sexuality, innocence, school shootings, cartoons, video games, adoption, street children, and feral children.


XII, 296
ISBN (Softcover)
politics gender adoption street children cartoons
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt/M., Oxford, Wien, 2002. XII, 296 pp., ill.

Biographical notes

Daniel Thomas Cook (Volume editor)

The Editor: Daniel Thomas Cook received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago and is currently Assistant Professor in the Departments of Advertising and Sociology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He has published a number of articles examining the commodification of childhood and is currently working on a manuscript on the rise of the child-consumer in the United States in the twentieth century.


Title: Symbolic Childhood