Rethinking Innocence

Gary Cross

in The Cute and the Cool

Published in print May 2004 | ISBN: 9780195156669
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199868254 | DOI:
 						Rethinking Innocence

Show Summary Details


Innocence may define the modern child, but it has done so with great ambiguity. One version of the innocent presumes virginal sanctity in the spontaneous child, the other, a vulnerable but malleable creature on a course to maturity. All this has left modern parents rehearsing again and again the same frustrations as they endlessly shift between permissiveness in search of the self-actualizing youngster and control in an effort to mold the superchild. There is no simple solution to the dilemma, and any answer will require us to go beyond conventional child-rearing strategies to thinking about how adults use children to cope with their own contradictions. The commercialization of wonder was a product of aggressive marketing, revolutionary media, and an increasingly child-centered, child-indulgent family. Is there any alternative to the path from the cute to the cool? This depends on whether wonder can be separated from commercialism.

Keywords: innocence; children; parents; child rearing; commercialism; wonder; marketing; family; cute; cool

Chapter.  7006 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.