Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Laska, Shirley

Second Advisor

Baxter, Vern


This study is a descriptive research project which examines a purposeful census of the best selling children's books for 0-8 year olds in the United States in 2003. This cross-sectional study of these social artifacts evaluates the extent to which the ideologies of the environmental movement have been inculcated into culture. It evaluates how the environment is represented in children’s literature and the extent to which children's literature meets the goals of environmental education. Through narrative semeiotic analysis of the themes, as well as the manifest (text) and latent (pictures) content, varying degrees of pro and antienvironmental ideologies reflected by these representations emerged. Analytic induction revealed that these representations reflected ideologies of human domination over nature. In addition, in most cases, the representation of the environment did not reflect or meet the goals of environmental education. This finding sheds light on the role children's books play in the environmental socialization of America's youth.


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