Childhood, Youth and Popular Culture

Subject EDUC30067 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours
Total Time Commitment: 120 hours
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: Attendance at all classes (tutorial/seminars/practical classes/lectures/labs) is obligatory. Failure to attend 80% of classes will normally result in failure in the subject.


Dr Karina Davis, Prof Johanna Wyn


Education Student Centre
Subject Overview: This subject explores how children construct and reconstruct their sense of selves against the backdrop of pervasive popular culture. It examines contrasting approaches to identity (e.g. developmental, sociological, feminist, postcolonial and postmodern) and contemporary debates about the place of popular culture and the media and entertainment industries in contemporary childhood and in children’s lives. The subject presents meaning-production around cultural products as the (variable) outcome of a balance between two forces. First, consumers’ ‘active’ construction of meanings, using the particular discourses which their particular social and material circumstances have enabled them to develop. Second, major firms’ increasing ability to influence the availability of particular discourses within which consumers can make sense of their products.
An indicative list of topics in this subject is as follows: the roles of cultural commodities in children’s construction of gendered, classed and racialised identity/ies; childhoods, global capital and multinational companies; the role of the Internet in the commodification of childhoods; the child as consumer.
Objectives: On completing this subject, students should be able to:
  • Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the inter-relationships between children’s identity formation and popular culture
  • Critically evaluate different theoretical perspectives on the role of popular culture in the making of childhood and children
  • Clearly identify the place of global capital and the media and entertainment industries in the commodification of childhood.
Assessment: Essays and assignments comprising 4000 words or equivalent. Report mid-semester, Essay (2500 words) end of Semester.
Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills: On completing this subject, students should be able to:
  • Sharpen their analytical skills by identifying and analyse theoretical perspectives on the role of popular culture in children’s lives;
  • Enhance their skills of scholarly critique through reading widely in diverse journals and texts;
  • Become more confident in planning their own work by engaging in analysis and presentation of case-studies of specific popular culture icons and iconography in the construction of children’s identities;
  • Gain enhanced skills in written communication through deepening their understanding of how discourses construct meaning in daily life.

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