The Cute and the Cool : Wondrous Innocence and Modern American Children's Culture
The cute child - spunky, yet dependent, naughty but nice - is largely a 20th-century invention. In this book, Gary Cross examines how that look emerged in American popular culture and how the cute turned into the cool, seemingly its opposite, in stories and games. Cross shows how adults have created the ideal of the innocent childhood and have used this to project adult needs and frustrations rather than concerns about protecting and nurturing the young - and how the images, goods, and rituals of childhood have been co-opted by the commercial world. Magazine and TV ads, articles from the popular press, comic strips, movies, radio scripts, childrearing manuals, and government publications support this argument and the book is illustrated with cartoons, toys, ads, and photos.
- Hardback | 272 pages
- 163.83 x 241.3 x 20.32mm | 544.31g
- 01 Apr 2004
- Oxford University Press
- Oxford, United Kingdom
The strengths of Cross's work are his extended analysis of the rise of the consumer market and his thorough grounding in the details of children's popular culture in the United States since the late nineteenth century. On balance this is a lively, provocative, and very readable analysis of a persistant social concern about children and youth. * American Historical Review *
About Gary Cross
Author of An All-Consuming Century: Why Commercialism Won in Modern America, Kids' Stuff: Toys and the Changing World of American Childhood, and seven other books relating to the history of modern society, Gary Cross is a Distinguished Professor of Modern History at the Pennsylvania State University.