Childhood, culture and creativity: A literature review

Author: Jackie Marsh

Institution: Sheffield University

Full reference: Marsh, J. (2010) Childhood, culture and creativity: A literature review. Newcastle: Creativity, Culture and Education

Summary of key findings

In this review, Jackie Marsh offers an overview of the literature surrounding the culture of childhood, looking at the debates surrounding how young children (defined here up to age eight) now grow up in complex, commercialised and media-saturated social worlds. The review looks at developments in the sociology of childhood over the last twenty years, and explores how children are positioned within the marketplace as well as in the family and how we now understand their drives and their identities. The main focus is on outlining research in which notions of children’s own cultural constructs are central to an understanding of creativity. The review examines three prevalent spheres of study: play, multimodal communication and new technologies.

Understanding how children conceptualise themselves and their place in the world is crucial for any initiative to develop creativity; and schools, as well as partners in the creative and cultural sector, will find this review a thought-provoking and challenging piece of work. It offers a comprehensive and original review of what our deep assumptions about the lives of children might mean for the education we plan for them and how they shape and are shaped by the cultural worlds they inhabit.


Literature Review

Read the review.