Producing Postman Pat: the popular cultural construction of idyllic rurality

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Abstract

This paper concerns the popular cultural representation of English rurality. It focuses upon Postman Pat, a popular cultural phenomenon which has come to be routinely cited as exemplary and iconic of contemporary imaginings of the English countryside as idyllic. The idea that Anglocentric popular culture (re)produces this sort of ‘rural idyll’ – and that these idylls are particularly laden with cultural and ideological baggage – has been well rehearsed. However, this paper considers a question which has too often been overlooked or taken for granted: how, exactly – and I mean literally, actually, in detail, in practice – does this sort of idyllic rurality come to be constructed? Through conversations with two key figures in the creation of Postman Pat, the paper begins to develop an understanding of some of the everyday, banal, nitty gritty practices, decisions and encounters which must be understood as fundamentally part of the production of (this) ‘rural idyll’
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Rural Studies
Volume24
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2008

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