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“Soap cost a dollar”: Jostling with minds in economic contexts

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What does it mean to save up pennies, spend on gifts, or dig up treasure? Far from being straightforwardly didactic, children’s picturebooks often embody, challenge, and subvert economic ideologies such as the rational agent and the accumulation of capital. In this exploratory study, I unpack the careful use of theory of mind to show how the social and cultural dimensions of everyday pecuniary dilemmas are negotiated in these narratives.

Astrid Van den Bossche is a DPhil student in Consumer Culture at the University of Oxford. Her doctorate examines the iconic Maidenform Dreams advertising campaign (US, 1949-1969) and introduces cognitive literary approaches to advertising theory and history. Besides this, she also works on topics in children’s economic socialisation through literature.

This talk is part of the Children's Literature series.

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