ERIC Number: EJ1118327
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Queering Chapter Books with LGBT Characters for Young Readers: Recognizing and Complicating Representations of Homonormativity
Hermann-Wilmarth, Jill M.; Ryan, Caitlin L.
Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, v37 n6 p846-866 2016
In this paper, we consider the limited chapter book options with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) characters available for upper elementary readers. While these texts all include one or more LGBT character(s), the overall representations of LGBT people and issues highlight particular normative identities and silence others. We are concerned that these representations reify neoliberal ideas about sexuality's relationship to race and class, and encourage gay assimilation into normative but problematic, nonequitable institutions. Yet we also believe that an analysis of books focusing only on representations of LGBT characters' identities limits the queer potential of texts. Therefore, in addition to looking at representations within these books, we also consider how a second look at these books through a queer lens can help disrupt normative representations of a range of identity categories. We undertake this dual analysis for several purposes: (1) to find and review LGBT-inclusive chapter books available for pre-YA (young adult) readers, (2) to analyze gaps in this corpus of literature so as to push back against normativizing frameworks, and (3) to show how bringing queer critique and analysis of such texts can be used to deconstruct and diversify representations of LGBT people and families until/in addition to the publication of additional and more diverse texts.
Descriptors: Childrens Literature, Elementary School Students, Homosexuality, Sexual Orientation, Sexual Identity, Social Attitudes, Social Bias, Reading Material Selection, Literature Reviews, Adults, Social Theories, Gender Issues
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A