Of Toys, Cultural Heritage and Globalization: The Collective Narrative Identity of Traditional Mexican Toys

Griselda Zárate, Sahad Rivera

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Handcrafted toys have had a rich tradition as cultural products in Mexican
cultural heritage. As such, they are cultural artifacts associated with specific
years, defined periods, as well as precise geographic regions; in other words,
they respond to a social function in the community. Drawing on Lotman’s
concept of text, Greimas’s notion of isotopy and Ricoeur’s narrative identity,
this paper aims to analyze traditional Mexican handcrafted toys as cultural
texts, based on two examples: kitchen clay toys and wooden truck toys. Of
special interest is the exploration of how handcrafted toys lose their relationship
to social reality and become museum pieces (Benjamin 1928), as well as
how globalization has influenced the making of toys. Each layer of meaning,
each repetition, is added to its cultural memory and condensed in the text.
In this case, handcrafted toys shape the way a specific collective narrative
identity emerges within the continuum of cultural dynamics.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSemiotics 2017: The Play of Musement
EditorsJamin Pelkey, Geoffrey Ross Owens
Place of PublicationUnited States
Pages105-114
Number of pages10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

Publication series

NameSemiotic Society of America Yearbook Series

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Zárate, G., & Rivera, S. (2018). Of Toys, Cultural Heritage and Globalization: The Collective Narrative Identity of Traditional Mexican Toys. In J. Pelkey, & G. R. Owens (Eds.), Semiotics 2017: The Play of Musement (pp. 105-114). (Semiotic Society of America Yearbook Series). United States. https://doi.org/10.5840/cpsem20179