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Jones, Sigrid. "Superheroes and Children’s Culture." Master Thesis. University of London, 2007. 
Added by: joachim (3/20/12, 12:19 PM)   Last edited by: joachim (9/7/19, 6:17 PM)
Resource type: Thesis/Dissertation
Language: en: English
BibTeX citation key: Jones2007a
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Categories: General
Keywords: Didactics, Superhero
Creators: Jones
Publisher: University of London (London)
Views: 7/521
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The last two decades have seen an increasing media convergence and the promotion and distribution of popular narratives through cross-media texts. The superhero genre forms an important part of children’s media environments and contemporary children’s culture, in particular for boys. Children are not merely consumers of media texts, they are also actively engaged in a range of activities – fantasies, make-believe play, drawing, writing and other forms of meaning-making – reflecting, expanding and commenting on these media texts. Children as storytellers, players and artists draw upon familiar elements from superhero narratives, to create their own meanings. Children’s ability to move across media platforms and across modes of meaning-making with particular ease, may explain the phenomenal success of cross-media narratives such as superhero stories. The paper provides an overview into different areas of children’s participation in the superhero narratives within and without the context of formal educational settings and provides a longitudinal case study of one boy’s engagement with superheroes in his play and meaning-making activities. The paper calls for a re-evaluation of children’s media culture and cultural practices, including educational practices around superheroes.

Table of Contents

Abstract (2)

1. Introduction (4)

2. Definition of the Superhero Genre (6)

3. Superheroes: Sites of Struggle (10)
a. Zero Tolerance (17)
b. Superhero Action: Rough and Tumble, Chasing and Martial Arts (18)
c. Gender Issues (20)
d. Imagining Power or the Power of Imagination (21)
e. Toys as Media (23)

4. Watching Superheroes (27)
a. Product-based Animation (27)
b. Talking about Television (30)

5. Drawing Superheroes (32)

6. Superheroes Supporting Multiple Literacies (36)

7. A Matter of Taste (40)

8. Case study (43)
a. War, Weapon and Superhero Play (43)
b. The Sad Fate of Action Man (46)
c. Superheroes Cast in Action (48)
d. The ‘Power’ of the Symbol (54)
e. Protagonists and Antagonists (59)
Females (69)
f. The Double Nature of Females (70)
g. Art (72)
h. Action Drawing and Many Ways of Learning (73)
i. Science Fiction (78)
j. Reading and Writing (82)

Appendix: Superheroes in the Classroom (87)
Bibliography (89)
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