Bricoleurs in preschool: girls poaching horror media and gendered discourses


Children's experiences and understandings are often marginalised in discussions of their own television viewing. Moreover, rarely is attention paid to the meaning children make from and with the ideas and images in media, much less in horror movies. This inquiry examines the horror media talk of a preschool girl in a poor and working-class preschool programme in a conservative Christian area in the Southern United States. One extended story by Jakaysha, a five-year-old African-American girl, is the focus of this paper. Using multiple post-structural theories including Davies' fluidity and Bakhtinian text mapping, we examine the contrasting gendered discourses in her narrative. Combining characters ‘poached’ from various media with discourses from her local community, she creates new horror media. In one reading of her tale, she uses horror to justify a departure from feminised subjectivities, while in another feminised expectations prevail, speaking to the multiple gendered subjectivities for girls.

Publication Title

Gender and Education