Chinese Propaganda Posters (Case Study)

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Children & Youth in History

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Visual images provide valuable material for the exploration of childhood, youth and history. Propaganda posters from the People's Republic of China (1949-present) are particularly rich, offering images that are both bold and subtle, and which many students find as nicely accessible sources to explore. The posters offer a sense of the ways in which a Chinese state and the individual artists it employed sought to use the image of the child to gain a broader public investment in political movements and to define new visions of the revolutionary cause, particularly during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). Exploration of the imagery of children in these posters provides students with useful sources through which to explore the ways in which images of children would come to signify broader social and political meanings and to potentially inspire both youths and adults in their own definitions of self-identity.


Children and Youth in History was designed to help teachers and students learn about the important roles of young people throughout history by providing access to information about the lived experiences of children and youth from multiple perspectives as well as changing notions about childhood and adolescence in past cultures and civilizations.

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