Ideology and Children’s Books

Authored by: Robyn McCallum , John Stephens

Handbook of Research on Children’s and Young Adult Literature

Print publication date:  October  2010
Online publication date:  April  2011

Print ISBN: 9780415965057
eBook ISBN: 9780203843543
Adobe ISBN: 9781136913570

10.4324/9780203843543.ch25

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Abstract

No matter how simplistic it may appear, no book is innocent of ideological implications. Whether a text seeks to naturalize the belief systems of a culture or challenge them, it always places an ideological imposition on its readers, since ideology inheres in the very language and images from which it is made. Seeking to expose the implicit and explicit ideologies communicated through children’s texts has become the primary work of many of us who work with the genre, and we are indebted to the pioneering work of John Stephens and Robyn McCallum for helping us frame those investigations. Here John and Robyn look at current frameworks for exploring questions of ideology. Their arguments are reinforced by M. T. Anderson’s brilliant rendering of the questions faced by authors as they write in, around, through, in spite of, and sometimes in defense of their own conscious and unconscious ideological positions.

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