A dramatic shift took place in the suburban conception of children in America during the early 1980s. The high-profile abductions and murders of a small number of children led to a profound shift in suburban thinking about child safety. Suburban parents embarked on a wild search for methods of safeguarding their children against the largely symbolic threats of stranger danger, but, in the end, many of the reactions to stranger danger only served to disempower children in the suburbs. In this paper, I contend that Matt and Ross Duffer’s Stranger Things enters into a symbolic discourse with the stranger danger movement in ways that reconfigure its symbolism, inverting stranger danger’s power structure and offering a narrative that dramatizes freeing children from the paranoia of stranger danger.
Articles published in The Graduate Review are the property of the individual contributors and may not be reprinted, reformatted, repurposed or duplicated, without the contributor’s consent.
Stranger Danger: The Inversion of Suburban Stranger-Danger Symbolism in Stranger Things.
The Graduate Review, 3, 48-60.
Available at: http://vc.bridgew.edu/grad_rev/vol3/iss1/11