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Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton November 16, 2017

Once Upon a Time… Fairy Tales and Other Stories

Deborah L. Smith-Shank
From the journal Chinese Semiotic Studies


Children and adults absorb and interpret folk tales, fairy tales, and other stories through books, movies, and the vast resources available today on the Internet, including a multitude of storied games. The very best stories are personal, transparent, and effective vehicles for teaching and learning. They teach us how we (mis)fit in families, cultures, hopes, and dreams. From the classic tales of Indigenous people to contemporary interactive web-stories, we learn how strength and weakness, courage and fear, tenacity and laziness define girls and women, boys and men. It is through stories that we learn what it is to transgress and the punishments meted out for making bad choices. Through stories, we learn to be who we are. And through a social semiotic study of these stories as practices of meaning-making, we begin to understand how they shape individuals and society.


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Published Online: 2017-11-16
Published in Print: 2017-8-28

© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston