Postman Pat and me: everyday encounters with an icon of idyllic rurality

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It is, by now, well accepted that those of us who live with/in contemporary Anglocentric popular culture are presented, from birth, with manifold icons and imaginings of the English countryside as idyllic. Indeed, the idea that, through such popular representations, we encounter and ‘consume’ this sense of ‘rural idyll’ – and a particular, underlying, ideologically laden set of idea(l)s – has been well rehearsed. However, this paper reflects upon a question which has hitherto been often overlooked: what is the (practical, tangible) nature of this ‘consumption’? Approaching this question, the paper re-presents a succession of encounters with one icon of idyllic rurality: Postman Pat. In so doing, the paper develops an understanding of some complex – and frequently banal, odd, happenstance, taken-for-granted – happenings and practices which are fundamentally part of the ‘consumption’ of ‘rural idyll’
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Rural Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2008


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