Social Change and Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever
By Lisa Wade, PhD
An anonymous reader sent us a link to Alan Taylor’s Flickr set, where he documents shifts in a children’s book, Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever, between 1963 and 1991.
First, the book took out two stereotypical visual references to “Indians”:
Second, they added a reference to Chanukah alongside Christmas:
Finally, they made several changes regarding gender. Dad now helps with meals:
Jobs are no longer segregated by gender (the pilot is no longer “handsome,” the “baggage man” is now a “handler,” and the “pretty stewardess” is now a “flight attendant”):
The “brave hero,” “jumping gentleman,” and “fireman” are now gender neutral:
And girls are generally added, using bows (for better or worse) as a signifier:
An interesting sign of the times! Thanks to Alan for so neatly putting up the comparisons!
This article originally appeared on Sociological Images.