ERIC Number: EJ757661
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Institutionalizing "The Outsiders": Ya Literature, Social Class, and the American Faith in Education
Tribunella, Eric L.
Children's Literature in Education, v38 n2 p87-101 Jun 2007
"The Outsiders" if often credited with marking the emergence of YA literature. It was written by a teenager and was intended to represent honestly the difficult lives of other young adults. Despite the novel's audience and purpose and its potentially provocative acknowledgment of the problems of social class, "The Outsiders" was readily institutionalized as part of school reading lists and educational curricula throughout the United States. Its institutionalization can be accounted for in part by the way it offers a palliative to the problems it depicts. The protagonist, Ponyboy, represents the novel itself as an intervention into those problems, but it works to reaffirm a notion of rugged individualism and a faith in American education. Such lessons ultimately disarm the novel's class critique and render it safe for educational institutions.
Descriptors: Novels, Individualism, Young Adults, Social Class, Adolescent Literature, Reading Material Selection, Literature Appreciation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States