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Boretti, Valentina (2019) 'Patriotic Fun: Toys and Mobilization in China from the Republican to the Communist Era.' In: Honeck, Mischa and Marten, James, (eds.), War and Childhood in the Era of the Two World Wars. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, pp. 17-34. (Publications of the German Historical Institute)

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This chapter explores the use of leisure to mobilize children in China from the 1910s to the early 1950s, in times of both war and peace. Drawing on normative advice, and commenting on youngsters’ reactions, it describes how ostensibly different regimes similarly deployed toys and play in order to foster children’s engagement in struggles of a political, commercial or military nature. It outlines how a variety of items - from so-called “educational” war toys to figurines and lanterns - could serve to rally children for the nation and familiarize war. The chapter argues that, although mobilization was construed as defensive, patriotic activism and acquaintance with the metaphorical or real battlefield were significant components of Chinese children’s upbringing from the beginning of the twentieth century.

Item Type: Book Chapters
Keywords: Children, modern China, leisure, nationalism, activism, war, play, education, political mobilisation
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of History, Religions & Philosophies > Department of History
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History
D History General and Old World > DS Asia
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
ISBN: 9781108478533
Copyright Statement: © 2019 Cambridge University Press. This is the published version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 31 May 2019 11:58
Funders: British Academy, Other

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