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Dark secrets of childhoodMedia power, child abuse and public scandals$
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Fred Powell and Margaret Scanlon

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781447317845

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447317845.001.0001

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Child culture and risk society

Child culture and risk society

(p.207) Seven Child culture and risk society
Dark secrets of childhood

Fred Powell

Margaret Scanlon

Policy Press

This chapter poses the questions: ‘Do adults and children occupy the same cognitive world of shared meanings or do adults culturally construct (and arguably) control the imaginary lives of children?’ ‘Do fairy tales contain culturally encoded messages?’ and ‘What is the meaning behind these messages?’The chapter seeks to explore how media forms culturally construct the child’s reality, often paradoxically through the agency of adult fantasy. The media’s primary cultural target is children’s imaginations. The chapter also explores the advent of the electronic media, which has arguably, given the child imaginative agency. The chapter poses two further questions: ‘Is the emergence of child agency on the internet deconstructing childhood?’ and ‘Is this a positive or negative development?’

Keywords:   fairy tales, internet, bullying, media exploitation

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