Dissertation

'Father Christmas; A character of fiction, imagination, legend and folklore and such characters' effect upon social progression, child psychology and character development.'

With the final year of study modules all linking to one another, I chose to focus my dissertation upon the concept of fictional/imaginary characters and the world of make belief - relating to William Joyce’s children’s novel series ‘The Guardians of Childhood’. However, the focus upon Father Christmas narrowed the research of the study. 

The dissertation looked into the effect Father Christmas has had upon child’s psychology, social progression and character development. This including arguments revolving around the perception of the “non-existant” figure, the effect of parental influence on a child’s mind, both sociology and psychology theories of childhood and the studies supporting such contexts, and the theories surrounding the Christmas period in relation to child mentality.

Primary research involved case studies conducted in a collection of village primary schools. The first including a covert group participation task amongst each year group of children; a drawing task to reveal their perception of the fictional character. The second being a non-covert voluntary questionnaire received by the parents and/or guardians of the children, surrounding concepts of the Christmas period’s effect upon a child, and their beliefs/opinions in regards to the argued “deceit” and “unnecessary lies” to children, surrounding the traditions which follow Father Christmas. 

Acknowledgments to my tutors, family and friends, and the collection of primary school teachers, children and parents for their participation in my case studies.

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