17 March 2011

17 March 2011 - The Material and Symbolic Cultures of...

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The Material and Symbolic Cultures of Childhood
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Some Definitions Material culture: it is a tangible entity with a physical reality Symbolic (non-material) culture: it is a culture comprised of things that aren’t tangible but created by a culture (e.g., values, beliefs, norms, religion)
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Material Culture What are the things that a culture has made? They have physical reality – you can touch them For children, include clothing, books, artistic and literacy tools, toys What do these material objects tell you about the culture? How do children use these objects?
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Symbolic Culture Representations or symbols of children’s beliefs, concerns, and values No tangible or physical reality but can be accessed through material items/objects Corsaro argues for 3 primary sources of these representations Children’s media (e.g., cartoons, films) Children’s literature (e.g., fairy tales) Mythical figures and legends (e.g., Santa
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Some Reflections on Material Culture What were your favorite TV shows? What were your favorite books? What were your favorite toys? What were your favorite clothes? Today, what are some of your favorite, tangible things?
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Some Reflections on Symbolic Culture Did (and how) you incorporate favorite TV shows movies into your play? How? What were your routines around books? How did you play with your toys? What were your favorites? Favorite games to play? What about preschool? What areas were your favorites? Why?
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Let’s Talk Toys
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TOY QUIZ: Rate the following GAMES from the oldest to the newest  (Manufactured) ____ 1. Candy Land ____ 2. Magic ____ 3. Monopoly ____ 4. Parcheesi ____ 5. Scrabble ____ 6. Trivial Pursuit ____ 7. Twister ____ 8. UNO 1) 1867- Parcheesi 2) 1935- Monopoly 3) 1948- Scrabble 4) 1949- Candy Land 5) 1966- Twister 6) 1972- UNO 7) 1982- Trivial Pursuit 8) 1993- Magic
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Toys Toys and Games reflect society, culture, family traditions, history, innovations, observations and other societal indicators Think of some of your favorite toys Where does this toy fit into US culture/society? What is its history? How does it reflect membership in different categories?
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Toy Advertising
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History of Children’s Toys Greeks and Romans Played with balls, clay rattles, clay dolls, hand carts, hobby horses, hoops and spinning tops Between Dark Ages and Middle Ages When old enough to play, kids also learned to work and use weapons and tools. Play outdoor games using pebbles, knucklebones and barrel hoops Handmade wooden toys such as tops, hobby horses and puppets
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History of Children’s Toys 18th Century Mass-produced toys (cheaper to make/buy) Those with money bought instructional toys e.g., pictorial alphabet cards, dissected map puzzles, books and board games. 19th Century
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17 March 2011 - The Material and Symbolic Cultures of...

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