This is America: Using Children’s Drawings to Discern their Understanding of National Identity
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University of Minnesota, Morris, USA.
Cracow University of Economics
Publication date: 2022-03-21
Polish Sociological Review 2022;2017(1):45–64
Children’s drawings are used to explore their understanding of nation across time and place, employing a methodology that provides visually provocative results. The researchers gathered pictures drawn by children responding to the prompt “This is America” in Poland and the United States in 1991 and in 2019. Six hundred pictures are digitized in a searchable database and are analyzed in three ways: (1) using thematic discourse analysis; (2) coding for the presence of iconic images; and (3) considered for their visual eloquence. The results contribute to an understanding of how children construct the meaning of America, demonstrate the ability of children to incorporate abstract and critical ideas in their drawings, and stimulate us to think about how we might better prepare children to become creatively critical citizens, capable of participating in deliberative democracy.