This article considers ideological, pedagogical and constitutive functions of children's picture books, with particular emphasis on the ways in which texts construct children and childhood in economic terms. Through an analysis of Lauren Childs' Hubert Horatio Bartle Bobton-Trent and Anthony Browne's Voices in the Park, the article interrogates the ways in which these texts' depictions of individuals and families function to locate children and childhood as central to notions of individual, family and social economies. Drawing on insights from feminist poststructuralist research concerned with the textual production of gendered subjectivities, I consider how gendered notions of childhood agency and the inevitability of social class location are implicated in the production of subject positions that are defined by the navigation of socioeconomic circumstances. The argument is made that the subjective, relational, and social processes associated with picture book reading map onto and (re)produce discourses of children and childhood as explicitly economic categories. Copyright © 2007 sage publications Los Angeles, London, New Delhi and Singapore.
CitationSaltmarsh, S. (2007). Picturing economic childhoods: Agency, inevitability and social class in children's picture books. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 7(1), 95-113. doi: 10.1177/1468798407074838
- Economic subjectivities
- Picture books
- Social class