During its 33-season run, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (1968-2001) left an indelible mark on millions of children and their caregivers. With television, Fred Rogers found the perfect medium for disseminating his prosocial messages to a mass audience of young people, helping them to better understand themselves and their world. Perhaps series in the history of children's television has done more to develop the identity and ethics of the child. More than a decade after Rogers' death, he continues to attract an audience online. Yet despite the show's lasting impact it has been largely igred by scholars. This collection of new essays focuses on Rogers' contribution to children's lives and media and to American culture. The contributors discuss his stance on the individual and the perception of self, his ideas about meaningful participation in a community and his use of television to accomplish his goals. At a time when the demands of a highly techlogical, media-dense world have diminished our capacity to listen carefully and to be present to others, Rogers' ideas still resonate.
Kathy Merlock Jackson is a professor at Virginia Wesleyan College, USA where she teaches media studies and children's culture. She is the editor of The Journal of American Culture and a former president of the American Culture Association. Steven M. Emmanuel is professor of philosophy at Virginia Wesleyan College, USA where he specializes in the history of philosophy and modern religious thought. He lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia.