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Toys: Between Rhetoric of Education and Rhetoric of Fun

Chapter

Abstract

A toy is mainly an object addressed to children. It must persuade children or parents who are its addressee. To analyze this kind of communication, we can use the notion of rhetoric—that is, what the toy means to its recipient, how the object seduces, catches, and captures the consumer and/or the user, child, or adult on behalf of the child. The main way today is to make the object fun, mainly in relationship to children’s mass culture—that is, a rhetoric of fun. Another way is to connect children with education or development. The toy or other goods for children are seen as educational tools; that means they are for children and only for them. But if the rhetoric of education has become less central and important for the toys, it still perpetuates this mainly for younger children who are more dependent on the adult’s choice. The chapter has as its objective to show the rhetoric of education in some contemporary toys, and analyzes education more as a discourse, an image than a reality.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Université Paris 13—Sorbonne Paris CitéVilletaneuseFrance

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