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ERIC Number: EJ820641
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Dec
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 22
ISSN: ISSN-1081-3004
Harry's Girls: Harry Potter and the Discourse of Gender
Cherland, Meredith
Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, v52 n4 p273-282 Dec 2008
How do we become the people we are? Humanist common sense proposes that people are born with a rational "self." But poststructural theory proposes a subjectivity formed in interaction with cultural discourses. Poststructural theory offers teachers fresh ways to teach critical literacy and thinking and provides students with ways to resist ideas about who they ought to be. The Harry Potter novels provide many illustrations of humanist discourses at work in the construction of gendered identities. Those who believe the world can be changed for the better can find hope in the idea that the story of who we take ourselves to be is never concluded. Always changing and becoming, readers (like the writers of Harry Potter fan fiction) can and do create new discourses that counter old ones. Teachers can invite teens to read and write against the grain and to create new discourses of gendered identities beyond the male/female binaries of humanism.
International Reading Association. 800 Barksdale Road, P.O. Box 8139, Newark, DE 19714-8139. Tel: 800-336-7323; Fax: 302-731-1057; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A