The Looking Glass : New Perspectives on Children's Literature, Vol 14, No 2 (2010)

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Emerging Voices

Michelle Abate, editor


Dora the Explorer: Destabilizing the Educative Reality of Participatory Programming

Rebecca Lennon


Rebecca Lennon recently graduated from Brandeis University’s Cultural Production Master’s program with a focus on educational and cultural theory and a concentration on children’s literature. She is a kindergarten after-school teacher in Cambridge, MA, and is continuing her research on various topics regarding children’s literature and media.


NickJr.’s mission is to make “learning an adventure” (mynoggin.com), by engaging the children in a mediated educative experience. Dora the Explorer is a perfect example of how NickJr. uses the resources of television as a potential participatory media to enhance a child’s learning experience. In order for this media to be an interactive learning experience, the audience members need to be fully engaged with the program; even then the elements of learning and retention are questionable. As I will explore through this essay, the connection between character and audience is artificial, as is the act of participation. Due to the restrictions of the interface, participation and the call for participation is pre-calculated, resulting in a predetermined answer and a programmed interaction that simulates a hyper-interplay. Dora the Explorer includes participation within the programming, but what that experience offers up to the audience is an educative and pedagogical commodity for both the learners and the adults, which defines for the population, an unreal educational reality. This paper will analyze the framework of Dora the Explorer with specific interest in participation and communication between the audiences and the characters. Through the analysis of the program, I will argue that the predetermined traits of the series, which defines itself as a didactic tool both through language and participation, disengages itself from accomplishing an educative reality because of its nature in formulation.

For this analysis I will be focusing specifically on the episode, “The Lost City,” which is a typical example of an episode from Dora the Explorer. In “The Lost City” Dora loses her Teddy Bear and she and Boots need the audience’s help to find him. Map, the character who tells Dora, Boots, and the audience where to go, comes out of Dora’s backpack and says, “I know where your Teddy Bear is…The Lost City!” Map explains to the audience that they need to go through the Number Pyramid and the Mixed up Jungle to find Teddy Bear in the Lost City. In each of these three locations, Dora and Boots need to solve puzzles, math equations, and rhythmic schemes in order to get through to the next obstacle, simulating a reward system. Throughout the episode there are songs that help recall information, character interacting with one and other, as well as continuous use of Spanish.

Although Dora the Explorer presents itself as being at the forefront of modern educational television programming, on the level of content it rather only offers an illusion of education. Education in Dora the Explorer exists within an illusionary framework; it evolves around the idea that its audience members are participating and this assumed participation gives the slow pace programming foreground for parental acceptance. In the Ecstasy of Communication Baudrillard writes, “There is no longer any transcendence or depth, but only immanent surface of operation unfolding, the smooth and functional surface of communication. In the image of television…the surrounding universes and our very bodies are becoming monitoring screens” (Baudrillard 1987, 12). Educational television, according to Baudrillard, is non-existent, and what has become the focus is the persuasiveness of the genre’s ability to provide a positive educative experience. This educative experience is made possible through the simulated interaction that both Dora and Boots have with the audience. Dora and Boots are mirrored realities of what adults enact – they want their children to be excited about education and excited about discovery, and in that sense Dora is their model. Dora is presented as a subject that encapsulates a positive educative experience, but rather she exists as the Zizekian Real. In The Sublime Object of Ideology, Zizek writes, “The precise definition of the real object: a cause which in itself does not exist- which is present only in a series of effects, but always in a distorted, displaced way. If the Real is the impossible, it is precisely this impossibility which is to be grasped through its effects ” (Zizek 2008, 184). In other words, the meaning of the Real is that which cannot exist in the material world but at the same time has an effect on the material world. In regards to Dora, participation is what would be considered the Real; participation with the media is a desire that is explored through the aesthetics of the show, therefore artificially affecting the material world. The result of the media and its desire to extend beyond its possibilities is the impossibility that Zizek describes above. Participation represents restrictive images of an assumed and desired educationally stimulating reality. The formulaic tendencies of children’s media (across the board) institutionalizes narrow characters, themes, and quality, which teaches a homogenous unification of the audiences—you must act, say, and do what the lead character tells you to do (Kline, 1995). Dora is the teacher that constructs her educative lesson based on molded and expected participation and as Kline says, “the audience has a certain [expected] structure,” (Kline 1995, 211) a structure on which Dora bases her pedagogical experience and existence.

The structure and emulation that is preserved within the program presents a lack of educative interactions, which is seen through Dora’s leadership qualities as the program educator. The interface of the television has created a technological stimulation and dependence, which children use to construct a conscious conditional reality for themselves and their academic worlds. Zizek writes, “In the subject’s relationship to the community to which he belongs, there is always such a paradoxical point of choix force—at this point, the community is saying to the subject: you have freedom to choose, but on that condition that you chose the right thing” (Zizek 2008, 186). Audience members see Dora as an educator who provides a learning experience, but it is that learning experience, which is obtained through engaged participation, that is limited and is conditional because of the media. Dora asks specific questions and she is looking for specific answers, further providing an illusion for an educative experience.

Through participation the audience members given an opportunity to play an important role in the outcome of the show, and it is exactly this, the self-identification and individualistic feeling the show provides, that brings the reality of the show into Zizek and Lacan’s notion of the Real. Participation is indeed an illusion, and the desire for participation to exist in the material world effects how it is presented and obtained in the material world. In all actuality, the audiences involvement does not make any difference and nor are they really able to embody the heroism that comes with saving the day with Dora. Baudrillard writes, “There is no longer any imperative of submission to the model, or to the gaze ‘YOU are the model!’ ‘YOU are the majority!’ Such is the watershed of a hyperreal sociality in which the real is confused with the model…’YOU are information, you are the social, you are the event, you are involved, you have the word’ (Baudrillard 2006, 29). The “you” is everything in and of the same thing. “You” simply acts as a simulation of individualism and therefore prepares a mock-up personification of the structuredentity of existence. Participation prepares and structures social interaction with specifically the interface and cultural expectations, therefore making the interface one of us. The television is our source of personal interaction, meaning there is no individual because the television encourages homogenous entities. Instead the participation is merely the simulacra of participation, which is to say the projection of a real to create a real—the representation. Baudrillard writes, “Simulacrum- not unreal, but a simulacrum, that is to say never exchanged for the real, but exchanged for itself, in an uninterrupted circuit without reference or circumstance…Representation attempts to absorb simulation by interpreting it as a false representation, simulation envelops the whole edifice of representation itself as a simulacrum” (Baudrillard 2006, 6). In terms of Dora, this means that she is projecting a reality of participation but the participation is merely a representation of an unattainable desire. Dora’s participation envisions itself as the real, therefore projecting it to viewers as such. Participation encompasses a specific constitution of what is real: Dora embodies a representation of that. 

Dora embodies an illusion in our educative imagination through her and the audience’s participation; in this sense, Dora is creating an illusionary reality, which morphs the presupposed imagination into a static image or meaning. Participation emulated and embodies something that calls attention to content but at the same time the attention that is called upon is not necessarily focused or educative, rather it is an imaginary entity of communication. Communication is constructed with attractive and beneficial lines that express visual meaning, but externally the visual educative experience of the show adheres to the persuadable imagination (Baudrillard). Dora is an object of educational amazement because of her interactionwith the audience, but rather when looking closer, Dora is a character that morphs and constructs a playful communicative un-reality. The participatory reality that Dora is introducing to the audience is indeed not a reality; instead it is a contortion of the Real. Viewers construe Dora as constructing an educational experience because of her exploration of bi-lingual language, her abilities to follow through with expectations and desires, her exploratory habits, and community basis. These educative experiences and expectations are merely subtitles to that of entertainment. Dora, instead of embodying the educational experience, has merely become a desired commodity that serves as an alternative model/teacher on television.

In order to really get an understanding of what kind of participation takes place within the program, I am going to describe two specific events in great detail and follow up with an extensive analysis of the episodic content.

One

In the episode of the “Lost City” Dora looses her Teddy Bear and is now on route to find him. On their way to the Number Pyramid, an obstacle Dora and Boots need to get through to get to the Lost City, they come across their friend Azul (a train). They discover that he has lost his whistle. Dora and Boots explain to him that they are going to the Lost City to look for her teddy bear and will look for his whistle as well. Azul, excitedly, offers both Dora and Boots a ride to the Number Pyramid. They travel through the forest singing a song about the things they needs to get at the Lost City and along the way they find other friends that have also lost personal items, items that Dora and Boots promise to find. Once Azul drops off Dora and Boots, the two look at each other and say, “Come on, we have to make it through this pyramid.” When they enter the Number Pyramid, they are met with a challenging looking obstacle of lifts, vines, and trap doors. Dora and Boots follow the course and are first met with the lifts. When deciding which lift both Dora and Boots need to take, a screen pops up and says, “To find which lift you have to take, count all the way to the number eight.” Dora then looks at the audience and says, “So we have to find the eighth lift, count with us, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. This is the eighth lift, good counting.” They are then lifted up to the vines. Boots asks, “Which vine should we take Dora?” and Dora replies, “Maybe there is another screen.” Dora asks the audience, “Do you seen another screen [an arrow points], thanks.” The same screen that was used previously pops up giving Dora and Boots the following directions. “To know which vine is right for you, first count five and then add two.” Dora repeats the directions, “So first we have to count five vines and then add two more. Count five vines with us 1, 2, 3, 4, 5…Great now we need to add two more. Count with us, 1,2. We had five vines and then we added two. Lets count the vines to see which one we need to take-1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 [they swing away on the vines to the trap doors].” Dora says, “I wonder which trap door we have to take.” Boots replies, “We have to look for a screen” and Dora says, “Good idea, do you see a screen?...Great.” The screen says, “You’ll find the way out if you choose the right door, it’s the number that comes between 2 and 4 [the screen shows: 1, 2, __, 4].” Dora looks at the audience and says, “We need to figure out what number comes between two and four.” Dora and Boots walk over to the number 2 door and the number 4 door and Dora asks the audience, “So what number comes between 2 and 4, [the arrow points] 3, right!” They slide down the trap doors slide and finally make it out of the pyramid.  

For Dora and Boots the blue arrow and screen both play a special role. The blue arrow and screen signifies the interface and the audience in that they are controlling the actions of the episode through the use of a pointer. What is interesting though is the participatory play between the two mediums: computer vs. television; the audience sees Dora as if she was in the television but then the arrow indicates and reminds us that she is indeed in the computer interface, therefore acting as a hegemonic device that unifies the audience’s voices and their power to use their own language. Adorno and Horkheimer write, “The unbroken surface of existence, in the duplication of which ideology consists solely today, appears all the more splendid, glorious, and imposing the more it is imbued with necessary suffering…Tragedy is leveled down to the threat to destroy anyone who does not conform, where as its paradoxical meaning once lay in hopeless resistance to mythical threat” (Adorno and Horkheimer 2002, 122). The arrows’ motion and tendency to answer for the audience speaks to Adorno and Horkheimer’s mention of the ‘unbroken surface of existence,’ in that, arrow is the projection of a perfect educative experience; its motions envision an intellectual direction for Dora and the absent audience. When Dora asks, ¿Donde esta? the audience’s job is to think about the answer and mentally break the fourth wall, as Dora consciously attempts. What becomes a struggle here is that Dora is unaware of the audience’s possible position of participationbecause of her position within the text, in other works, she unknowingly sees herself as the participator. The computer interface, where Dora was created and continues to exist, becomes the modifier between the reality of participation and the internal participation within the system. The computer therefore controls the motions of participation to ensure Dora that an educative experience is occurring, therefore connecting with the external world, artificially.

Dora performs within the computer interface and participation is simulated through not only her movement but also through interaction with the medium itself. The text, the interface, and subsequently the television, are the intellectual forces that construct the confines of Dora’s show; the interface is the participating factor and embodies the assumed actions of the audience. Without the voice or action of the interface, Dora and Boots would not be able to exist simply because they exist on the mere assumption someone or something is interacting with them. We see this played out through Dora’s first scene in the Number Pyramid where she listens to the directions the blue screen gives her and then relays the information to the audience. Then she asks the audience to count with her to the eighth lift. Participation is assumed because as Dora says the numbers of each lift, they light up which simulate the interfaces participating voice. Dora is able to look at the audience and command participation and receives it but on the most presumptuous way; she believes she has obtained the power to break through the invisible interface with the use of her language. In her mixed reality she is being overpowered and fooled by the medium she exists in. The medium plays Dora’s game, in that it projects and simulates an audience member through the use of lighting, music, and movement. Dora see the reflection of herself on the screen of the interface and envisions herself unknowingly as the audience, therefore she participates with herself through her own questions and internal monologue.

Dora’s existence as a participant teeters on the boundaries of confusion; her existence and her place within the interface does not condone inter-communicational relations so therefore the interface projects Dora as the audience member and creates an illusionary relationship that only survives when Dora is alive. By looking at herself through the mirroring of the interface, Dora is projecting her desires onto the ultimate Other which then projects back to her the access to her desires, therefore fulfilling her dueling interpassivity as teacher and student. Zizek in How to Read Lacan writes, “‘Man’s desire is the other’s desire.’ For Lacan, the fundamental impasse of human desire is that it is the other’s desire in both subjective and objective genitive: desire for the other, desire to be desired by the other, and especially, desire for what the other desires” (Zizek 2006, 36). In Dora’s case, the interface is the ‘Other,’ the object that she projects her desires of participatory interaction onto and by doing this, her desires become three fold, in that, as Zizek puts it, she is desiring the attention and agency of the other, she is desiring for the other to project onto her as a subject, and what the other wants her to desire. By having this dueling projection that ebbs back and forth between Dora and the interface, the Other or what I am considering the interface, becomes that subject that constructs Dora’s actions, therefore giving all possible agency to itself, denying Dora of any subjectivity.

Dora and Boots are lifted by the number eight lift to the next obstacle, the vines. The two characters are unsure which vine to take, so they look for another blue screen. Both Dora and Boots look at the audience and ask if we see a screen. To indicate that we do, or rather the computer, found the screen, a blue arrow goes over and clicks (with clicking sounds) on the blue screen. Presuming the audience gave the answer; she looks into the reflection of the interface with a pride. Dora and Boots listen to the directions of the screen and then relay them back to the audience again: to find the right vine you have to add five and two (Dora lifts up her right hand and left hand to show the audience what seven looks like). Dora looks at the audience and tells them to count with her and Boots, to indicate to them participation is being enacted, the vines light up and faint music goes up in tone with each counted number. Dora, with the help of the audience, counts the right amount of vines, which is shown through the movement of the seventh vine over to Dora and Boots. Interestingly enough, the vines are also embodying the computer because of its ability to control its own movement and the movement and apparent choices made by Dora. Dora and Boots grab a-hold of the seventh vine and through the control of the interface the characters are lifted up and are directed to the trap doors.

Dora and Boots are to figure out which trap door will get them out to the pyramid but they are unable to do that without the help and guidance of the blue computer screen. When the screen pops up and recites the directions, Dora automatically looks at the audience, says that we need to find the number between two and four. Dora stands above the number four looking intently at herself in the interface, awaiting an answer from the audience. The blue arrow comes in to indicate the answer therefore further insinuating the interface projects the desires of itself back onto Dora therefore driving Dora through the realms of the interface. After the arrow has indicated the desired answer, Dora looks at the audience and says, “Right,” almost insinuating she knew the answer the whole time fooling herself into thinking that she embodies the role of the commander, when in reality she is merely just a controlled subject.
           
Two

Moving onto the next obstacle, Boots and Dora slide out of the number pyramid onto a blue and yellow flower. “We made it through the number pyramid.” Boots looks at Dora and he asks, “Where do we go next.” Dora acknowledges the audience and she proceeds to point to boxes that appear on the bottom of the screen, “Pyramid, The Mixed up Jungle, Lost City. We went through the pyramid, where do we go next…[a blue arrow appears on the screen and indicates the answer] Jungle, right, the mixed up jungle.” Dora says, “Donde esta, where is the mixed up jungle? Yah there it is, Aye esta.”  Boots says to Dora that the route ahead of them is too long to travel. With the cue given by Boots, Map pops out of Dora’s backpack and says, “Short cut, short cut, short cut.” Dora looks down at Map and says to Boots, “We need to find a short cut, but how?” Dora looks at the audience and say, “Who do we ask for help when we don’t know which way to go? That’s right, Map. You have to say map.” Boots encourages the audience to say “Map.” Map comes out of Dora’s backpack and he sings, “I’m the map, I’m the map, I’m the map.” Map brings the audience into himself in order to direct the audience where they should look for the short cut. “Dora and Boots need to get to the mixed up jungle, which is very far away, but I know a short cut [a yellow dotted line goes up the middle of the screen, a long a set of bushes]. To find the short cut all Dora and Boots have to do is jump up and down on the blue triangle. Tell Dora and Boots to jump up and down” [the map then brings the audience back to Dora and Boots]. Dora and Boots are kneeling next to a blue triangle and ask the audience, “What do we need to do? Jump up and down. Will you help us jump up and down? Great. Stand up please, stand up.” Boots says, “Stand up, up, up, up.” Dora directing the audience says, “Now bend your knees and jump up and down. Do you see the door to the short cut? [a blue arrow points to the door], Aye esta.” Dora and Boots run through the door and come out at the other end to find the Mixed Up Jungle.

Dora and Boots find the mixed up jungle through the help of the audience but then are confronted with a challenge. The map comes out of Dora’s backpack and participatory interactions infiltrate the screen. The audience is instructed to say “map” but when Dora and Boots don’t hear the audience saying map, the audience is asked to say it again. Through an interaction with herself through the help of the innocuous Other, Dora is able to simulate a teaching experience with herself, therefore answer her own query. By unknowingly interacting with herself Dora is proving to herself and to the entities within the interface that she is able to create an educative experience for others beyond herself. Adorno and Horkheimer write, “To put on a show means to show everyone what one has and can do. The show is still a fairground, but one incurably infected by culture” (Adorno and Horkheimer 2002, 127).  The interface is performing for Dora, as she plays the predetermined role as teacher, student, and projected object. The educative experience in which she is ratifying, as Adorno and Horkheimer allude to, is colored by the social expectation that are permeated by the Other onto Dora’s subjectivity. The presence of Dora and Boots is not a true representation of an educative experience; rather, it is an event that looks and takes on the appearance of an educative event. The audience participation and intercommunicational relationships with the characters becomes the shell for what encompasses a pedagogical and educative experience—the preservation of education is a false reality and by calling upon the audience for help, both characters are projecting their assigned positionality as agent-less, within the interface.

As is made clear through the two scenes that are explored above, the program Dora the Explorer has a particular agenda,which fosters and projects the illusion of an educative experience. Dora and Boots’ interaction not only with each other but also with themselves and the audience proves to be similar throughout the program because Dora, specifically, is not able to get beyond herself as the subject that is projected onto her by the Other. Dora is not what she sees therefore she falls victim to the illusion of both the fallacy of the educative experience as well as the interactivity with the non-audience. Baudrillard writes:

“The object itself takes initiative of reversibility, taking the initiative to seduce and lead astray…It is no longer that of the symbolic order (which requires a subject and a discourse), but the pure arbitrary one of rule of the game. The game of the world is the game of reversibility. It is no longer the desire of the subject, but the destiny of the object, which is at the center of the world” (Baudrillard 2006, 80).

In her attempt to foster cross-participation, Dora is mislead by the interactions that are predetermined by the Other/ interface. Dora is unable to see the simulated world that she exists in because of her desire to break the interfacial barrier for the sake of participation. The seduction of the real becomes a formulated and simulated reality, plaguing her in this ever-evolving game of finding the meaning of reality. Dora’s subjectivity has transformed her into a mediated object that is projected onto, in an attempt to fulfill the desires that exist within the interface. Dora is constantly in a struggle to construct a real for herself in that she herself no longer knows her own static reality.

Three

In the “Lost City” Dora serves two important purposes: one of emulating and exploiting an educative experience and second as an object that has become a commodity and a source of entertainment. The most important point to really touch upon is the idea of emulating an educative experience; this simulation is done through, as stated before, assumed interaction and subsequent participation. Dora looks at the audience and asks the audience a question in an attempt to create an interactive setting, which is fostered through the interface itself. Through the reflection of both the computer and television interface, Dora perceives herself as the audience member and the subject who facilitates a participatory occasion; Dora is, therefore, forever within the mirror stage. Lacan writes, “We have only to understand the mirror stage as an identification, in the full sense that analysis gives to the terms: namely, the transformation that takes place in the subject when he assumes an image” (Lacan 2002, 190). In the “Lost City” Dora becomes her own image of justification, she, without the prior knowledge of her exterior, assumes her position as a teacher and her reflection as the real audience. Herself, as teacher, encapsulates entities of a teacher all of which is placed onto her by the interface in order to allow Dora to create what she perceives as an educative experience. What Dora produces is a simulacrum of participation through her assumed position in the teaching realm. Her reflection acts as the receiver who then participates with what perceives to be her real self. Despite the fact that Dora’s movements are replicated through her own reflection, Dora does not have the ability to differentiate her interfacial realities because of her lack of exposure to any sort of reality beyond her boundaries of the interface. Lacan also writes, “I is precipitated in a primordial form, before it is objectified in the dialectic of identification with the other, and before language restores to it, in the universals, its function as subject” (Lacan 2002, 190). Dora is in the primordial stage, which she will never be able to move outside of. In the stages of the “I”, Dora sees herself as the only entity but at the same time sees herself as something very different then what is actually being seen; Dora is unable to recognize or acknowledge her own reflection because of the participation of the interface itself and her lack of intellectual growth. As a result of Dora’s cognitive allusions, she has become her own subject of interest—she becomes the subject so much so that she envisions herself as the other. Lacan writes,

“The mirror stage is a drama whose internal thrust is precipitated from insufficiency to anticipation—and which manufactures for the subject, caught up in the lure of spatial identification, the succession of phantasies that extends from a fragmented body-image…to the assumption of the armour of an alienating identity, which will mark with its rigid structure the subject’s entire mental development” (Lacan 2002, 192).

Dora is defined through her spatial reality, which is a space where actions, language, and characters are on a never ending real. As a result of the interface in which she exists in, Dora survives as an image fragmentation. Dora, because of her indefinable origins and purpose, cannot exist in anything but a fragmented state of being and pieces together an identity that is created by the interface. For as long as the show continues Dora will remain in this infantile state, she cannot escape the boundaries of the interface because she is unable to develop and understand that there is a world beyond the space she exist, she only knows what she is able to perceive or what she is projected to see.

Dora is both acknowledging herself through the reflection of the screen but at the same time her hopes are to get to a greater level of communicative connection, which is apparent through her attempt to enact participate. Bignell says, “As Hartley points out, ‘The industry and its regulatory bodies are obliged not only to speak about an audience but—crucially, for them—to talk to one as well: they needs not only to represent audiences but also to enter into relations with them” (Bignell 2002, 129). This is where Dora is not able to make connections with her audience; she can neither speak truly about them or to them because she is unaware and unclear of not only herself but also her surroundings, therefore preventing her from making connections to anything human. Foucault writes, “…Words are as deliberately absent as things themselves; any description of a vocabulary is a lacking as any reference to the living plentitude of experience” (Foucault 1972, 48). Dora’s words mean nothing to anyone but the computer interface; her language is unrelated to the self because her language is fed to her through the higher forces within the interface. Dora is not able to create concrete relationships with her audience members due to her position in the interface and as stated before because she is unable to create a relationship with herself beyond what the interface has created for her. As a projection in this educative world of television she cannot remotely “enter into a relationship with them” because Dora does not know who “they” are. Her vision is tunneled because of her existence in the mediated and duplicated interface of the computer and television. In order to create a relationship outside of herself, Dora must be able to exist outside the realm of the unreal and define herself as a real entity.

Dora the Explorer is a program that focuses on elements of participation, which are supposed to serve as an educational tool for the viewers. What this paper has shown is that the participation that occurs through out the episode “The Lost City,” is merely a false organization because Dora is focusing on her own image, that is reflected on the interface in front of her. Dora’s interactionwith the audience seems to provide an educative experience for those who watch it for such reasons but the participation and linguistic interaction proves to be misleading because of the false relationship she has with the interface itself. Zizek writes, “...the subject who directly believes [in self independent of others] need not exist at all: it is enough precisely to presuppose his existence, to believe in it, either in the guise of the mythological founding figure who is not part of our reality, or in the guise of the impersonal actor, the unspecific agent” (Zizek, 2006, 30). Dora cannot see or acknowledge those who are watching or that which has created her because she does not know what she is, how she exists or the illusion of her reality. By projecting her desires onto the audience, desire which have previously been projected onto her by the interface or the Other, she is denied access to information beyond what is given to her. Dora cannot humanize herself insofar that she cannot break the duplicated interface in which has been created and thus continues to re-create her existence through given and forced action. Due to the interface Dora the Explorer cannot possibly be what it claims to be for the mere reason the caller does not recognize or acknowledge the assumed responder. The interface interferes with the educative experience because the participator dialogue is blocked by not only the television but also the space and time in which the desired educative experience is projected onto the subject position of Dora.

 

Works Cited

Adorno, Theodor and Max Horkheimer. (2002 ). “Enlightenment as Mass Deception.” Dialect of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments. (Gunzelin Schmid Noerr, Trans.). California: Stanford University Press. Print.

Baudrillard, Jean. (1987). “The Ecstasy of Communication.” The Ecstasy of Communication. (Bernard Schutze and Caroline Schutze, Trans.). New York: Semiotext(s). Print.

Baudrillard, Jean. (2006) “Simulacra and Simulation.” Simulacra and Simulation. (Sheila Faria Glaser, Trans.). Michigan: The University of Michigan Press. Print.

Bignell, Jonathan. (2002 ).“Writing the Children in Media Theory.” The Yearbook of English Studies: Children in Literature. (vol. 32). Print.

Foucault, Michel. (1972 ). “Formation of Objects.” The Archeology of Knowledge and the Discourse of Language. (A.M. Sheridan Smith, Trans.). New York: Patheon Books. Print.

Kline, Stephen. (1995 )“Limited Imaginings.” Out of the Garden: Toys and Children’s Culture in the Age of TV Marketing. (p. 211). New York: Versco. Print.

Lacan, Jacques. (2002 ). “The Mirror Stage as Formative of the Function of the I as Revealed in Psychoanalytic Experience.” In Philip Rice Editor and Patricia Waugh Editor (Eds.). Modern Literary Theory. New York: Arnold. Print.

MTV Network. (2008). myNOGGIN. from https://secure.nickjrboost.com/index.php (NickJr Boost). Online.

NickJr. (2003). Dora the Explorer: City of Los Toys. “The Lost City” . Hollywood, CA, Viacom International Inc. DVD.

Zizek, Slavoj. (2006). How to Read Lacan (How to Read) (1 ed.). New York: W. W. Norton. Print.

Zizek, Slavoj. (2008). The Sublime Object of Ideology, Second Edition (The Essential Zizek) (2 ed.). New York: Verso. Print.

 

Rebecca Lennon


Volume 14, Issue 2 The Looking Glass,May/June 2010

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Dora the Explorer: Destabilizing the Educative Reality of Participatory Programming" © Rebecca Lennon, 2010
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