Rewriting for, and by, the children: The social and ideological fate of a media miss in an urban classroom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Stories have often been rewritten for children. Children themselves are onlookers to the 'chain of communication' that unfolds, as stories are rewritten by perceived ideological conservatives and, in turn, by perceived ideological liberators. In this article, I both present and dialogize this vision of children as receptors of adults' ideological messages. I begin by reviewing examples of adults' rewriting for children, drawing primarily on the rewriting of folk stories. Then, using ethnographic data collected in a study of urban school children's use of common story material (from the poplar media), I reconstruct one branch of a classroom chain of communication. The chain features a girl-next-door figure from a film well-known by the children. In so doing, I illustrate the dialogic process through which children's rewriting becomes a mediator of their ideological concerns. The article concludes with a discussion of the classroom conditions that seemed to support the activation of such a dialogic event.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-312
Number of pages38
JournalWritten Communication
Volume14
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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