ERIC Number: ED336742
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
A Descriptive View of the Portrayal of Jewish and Christian Lifestyles in Award-Winning Children's Books from 1960 to 1990 Using Content Analysis.
Martin, Kimberly Bartels
A study used content analysis to examine the extent to which Jewish and Christian lifestyles were portrayed in 62 children's books of accepted literary worth. For each year from 1960 to 1990, the Newbery Award-winning book and one Newbery honor book were examined. A content analysis of 13 action categories found that the 5 most common actions were: (1) compassionate/charitable deeds; (2) telling others about God; (3) prayer; (4) worship attendance; and (5) reading the Bible. No significant change in the frequency of the 13 actions was found over time. However, Jewish and Christian lifestyles were portrayed only nominally in the Newbery books. The sample distribution showed that 65% of the sampled books contained fewer than the mean of 4.9 actions per 100 pages. Only six books contained strong Jewish or Christian characters--main characters whose faith in God was portrayed as playing an important role in everyday life. Jewish characters of any kind (prominent or obscure) were found in only three books. Of the 8 books that contained more than 10 actions per 100 pages, only one was about people in a contemporary setting. Some books contained a large number of actions contrary to Judeo-Christian lifestyles. Other studies have asserted that multicultural literature should be preferred because children need positive exposure to all cultures. This study concludes that portrayal of the cultures of committed Christians and Jews has not been common of the Newbery books since at least 1960. (Fourteen references and an appendix--containing Newbery award guidelines and the coding sheet used in the study--are attached.) (Author/SR)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Masters Theses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Newbery Award; Text Factors; Thematic Analysis
Note: M.A. Thesis, Ball State University.