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Rutgers librarian co-edits book on images of children in popular culture

The newly published book, Portrayals of Children in Popular Culture: Fleeting Images, edited by Vibiana Bowman Cvetkovic and Debbie Olson, is a collection of essays which examines images of "children" and "childhood" in popular culture, including print, online, television shows, and films.

The contributors to this volume explore the constructions of "children" and "childhood" rather than actual children or actual childhoods. In the chapters that are concerned with depictions of actual, individual children, the authors investigate how the images of those children conform or "trouble" current notions of what it means to be a child engaged in a contemporary "childhood."

Chapters address topics such as "The Girl You've Always Wanted to Be!" Girl Power and Commodification in Teen Magazines," "Children and Media in Parenting Magazines," "Making Kids Sexy: Sexualized Youth, Adult Anxieties and Abercrombie and Fitch," "Configuring Childhood on the Web," "Accidental Deaths: the Violence of Representing Childhood in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," "Better Multiculturalism" Through Technology: Dora the Explorer and the Training of the Preschool Viewer(s)," " Representations of Children in Pixar Films: 1995-2008," and others.

The Childhood Studies scholars represented in this collection utilize an interdisciplinary approach which draws upon various academic fields—their methodologies, theoretical approaches, and scholarly conventions—for the scholarly research in this collection. Together, the contributions to this collection interrogate classic notions of childhood innocence, knowledge, agency, and the fluid position of the signifier "child" within contemporary media forms. These interdisciplinary works function as a testament to the infectiousness of the child image in print, television, and cinematic contexts.

Vibiana Bowman Cvetkovic is a reference librarian at the Paul Robeson Library on the Rutgers-Camden campus. Debbie Olson, ABD, is lecturer at University of Texas at Arlington.

Katie Elson Anderson, a reference librarian at the Paul Robeson Library, is the author of a chapter in the book on 'Configuring Childhood on the Web.'

Portrayals of Children in Popular Culture: Fleeting Images is published by Lexington Books, an imprint of Rowman and Littlefield Publishing Group.

For more information on this book, see the publishers webpage for this book:
The publishers' webpage served as the source for this news story.

Posted January 28, 2013