Children's Drawing as a Sociocultural Practice: Remaking Gender and Popular Culture

October 2009
Studies in Art Education;Fall2009, Vol. 51 Issue 1, p50
Academic Journal
Historically, the majority of studies on children's image making have emphasized the appraisal of children's graphic development and/or the artistic qualities of children's pictures, thereby assigning them the status of self-contained visual artifacts and objects of analysis in their own right. However, such a product-oriented paradigm of inquiry places major value on the "artifactual residue" of image production while generally overlooking the contextual complexities of drawing practice as a lived social and cultural experience (Pearson, 2001). Hence, following Pearson's call for an alternative, context-specific, and process-centered inquiry, this article reconceptualizes children's self-initiated drawing as a sociocultural practice interwoven with discourses of childhood and gender and embedded in children's peer interactions, daily activities, and participation in popular culture. It illustrates this premise by discussing the collaborative image making of two preadolescent girls as a complex process of negotiating and resisting sociocultural ideas about femininity that dominate everyday practices and popular culture texts.


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