Recent theories of culture have stressed the centrality of the everyday in the construction of social life. From Marxist to post-structuralist perspectives, the structure and production of the mundane have become central to understanding culture and social action. Mere child’s play has assumed increased importance. Seen as undergirding class cultures, such play is viewed as the formative material upon which superstructures of resistance are later constructed.
At the forefront of many recent investigations has been the solitary figure of Mr. Potatohead. As a common object of play Mr. Potatohead represents myriad creative processes through which children are inscribed with meaning from adult social structures. Whereas structuralist analyses originally characterized Mr. Potatohead as a totemic form, interpretations of his role in contemporary culture have proliferated among Marxists and post-structuralists.
Marxists have criticized structuralist analyses for their neglect of Mr. Potatohead’s function in the maintenance of bourgeoise hegemony. . . .
* Please note that due to recent events the spelling of the object of analysis of this paper is subject to change under Vice-Presidential scrutiny.