Ludic Geopolitics: children's play, war toys and re-enchantment with the British military

    Project Details


    Since the 1990s, increasing attention has been paid to how geographies of global politics are represented through popular culture, such as films, radio and magazines. Despite the enduring war play debate, children and toys have typically been excluded from these discussions. At a time when militarism is increasingly imprinting on everyday geographies well beyond areas of actual armed conflict, a grounded cultural commentary on war play and how children develop understanding of geopolitical climates is urgently needed. Working in partnership with the V&A Museum of Childhood this project analyses how military technologies and logics are made banal - alike through children's play with action figures, and thus the role of toys in the making of the citizen. Based on an innovative methodology developed as part of previous ESRC awards, this project uses interlinking strands of trade, museum and home based ethnographic research to ask:

    How has the history of the British action figure been shaped by wider geopolitical climates?

    What geopolitical narratives have shaped, and are shaped by HM Armed Forces (HMAF) toys?

    How do children make sense of contemporary geopolitics through play with HMAF toys?

    How can toys be used as an educational tool for understanding historical/contemporary geopolitical climates?
    Effective start/end date4/11/133/05/16


    • Economic and Social Research Council, UK: £395,245.00


    • Education
    • Human Geography
    • Psychology
    • Child Psychology
    • Cultural and Anthrop Geography
    • Curriculum areas
    • Economic Geography
    • Political Geography


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