'The best thing ever': how children's popular culture matters

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This paper reflects upon a popular cultural event which was, briefly, for a particular grouping of children in the UK, ‘the best thing ever’: namely the release of the CD-single Reach, by the British pop group S Club 7. I suggest that this event was illustrative of manifold cultural forms and practices which — being ostensibly banal, fun, faddish, lowbrow and ‘childish’ — continue to go largely unheralded by many social/cultural geographers. Against this grain, this paper presents three apprehensions of S Club 7’s significance. First, I restate a particular case made via Anglo-American cultural studies that ‘children's popular culture’, ought to be taken more seriously in contexts salient to social/cultural geographers. Second, I detail how the S Club 7 phenomenon existed, practically and materially, and mattered, in some children's everyday lives. Third, refracting cultural geographers' recent apprehensions of affective, evental aspects of cultural practices, I suggest that the pop cultural phenomenon described herein mattered (to those children, there and then) in ways which elude and exceed canonical scholarly habits of writing/knowing popular cultural phenomena.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-398
Number of pages22
JournalSocial and Cultural Geography
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2010


  • S Club 7
  • children's geographies
  • popular culture


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