ERIC Number: EJ1043794
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Innocence Is No Defense: Politicized Childhood in Antonio Skármeta's "La Composición/The Composition"
Children's Literature in Education, v45 n4 p271-284 Dec 2014
Chilean author Antonio Skármeta's picture book "The Composition" (2000), illustrated by Alfonso Ruano, focuses on the political involvement of 9-year-old Pedro. This essay brings together Maria Nikolajeva's concept of aetonormativity and Elisabeth Young-Bruehl's concept of childism to examine how "The Composition" troubles normative assumptions regarding children's political action and reflects necessary changes in how children are regarded. Pedro's political actions are not grounded in an established political ideology, nor do they result from advice from adults. Rather, Pedro's parents naively attempt to reinforce the idea that childhood is an apolitical status--this despite the dictatorship's willingness to exploit children's assumed lack of political knowledge. Uniting literary critics with psychological and political criticism, this essay insists on the necessity of literature that recognizes children's political activities and responsibilities. Such literature should not be exclusively directed toward children who are victims of injustice, nor should it deny that those children involved in political action are still children; ascription of an honorary adult status to young political actors may serve to further marginalize specific children as well as children as a class.
Descriptors: Picture Books, Politics, Children, Citizen Participation, Childrens Literature, Authoritarianism
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
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