'Depend on, rely on, count on': economic subjectivities aboard The Polar Express

Bonnie Saltmarsh

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)
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    The Christmas genre of literature and film produced for children is an important, albeit under-researched, site for the production of cultural values and norms. This paper analyses Chris Van Allsburg's 1985 picture book The Polar Express, the 2004 Warner Brothers feature film of the same title, the film's official website, and resources for teachers distributed online by Houghton Mifflin, considering how these texts construct childhood subjectivities in economic terms. The argument made is that nostalgic depictions of ordered, middle-class lifestyles, the representation of social class inequalities as immutable structural norms, and signifiers of corporate capitalism, together locate childhood and child subjectivities as inexorably tethered to socioeconomic circumstance and experience.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)136-148
    Number of pages13
    JournalChildren's Literature in Education
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


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