From Captains Courageous to Captain Underpants: Children's Books as a Cultural Field in the Twentieth Century
Harvard University, 2007 - 309 pages
Children's books in the United States have undergone a significant shift over the course of the twentieth century; the field has institutionalized in comparison and opposition to emerging new media, in the context of a broader social shift towards children's market autonomy. The result has been a fundamental shift in the dimensions along which "quality" in this field is judged-away from the moral in favor of the aesthetic, away from adults' interests in favor of children's interests. This case study, drawing upon archival and interview research, illustrates the dynamics of competing cultural fields and advances our understanding of childhood and culture in the media marketplace. A generalizable model of a cultural field is advanced; along with an agenda for future research into the production of culture.
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