Das männliche Kind im zeitgenössischen Kinder- und Jugendroman

Research output: Book/ReportPh.D. thesisResearch


Anastasia Gremm

By examining the male child in a number of sanctioned contemporary literary publications for children and young adults, this dissertation aims to identify some of the norms and moral values currently held in the world outside the book. An assumption underlying this present study is that literature for young readers always has a socialising character, i.e. contributes to the reproduction of socially constructed patterns of cognition and action, even if the producer(s) intend otherwise. This dissertation is particularly concerned with those norms and moral values, which are closely related to questions of gender construction and the positioning of the child in the social order. The male protagonist will be examined in a number of social contexts and with regard to his function as a reflection of contemporary society. The focus will be on character construction and narrative situation as well as the positioning of the imagined young reader (referred to here as the “abstract reader”) and the imagined adult reader (i.e. the mediator, referred to here as the “intended reader”), who–in combination– are attributed certain norms and moral values. The textual corpus, which also includes translated works, has been put together using the following criteria: 1) The children and/or young adult novel must have received a nomination for a book prize or a mention on a list of recommendation, and thus been “sanctioned”. 2) This sanctioning must have happened at some point between 2000 and 2009. 3) The book’s recommended age must be 11, 12 or 13. 4) The novel’s protagonist must be male. Using these criteria, a corpus of 40 publications was identified. In line with the qualitative, rather than quantitative, nature of this study, the selection needed further narrowing. The final number of analysed works was thus reduced to eight. These eight texts, which undergo a thorough analysis in this dissertation, are: Kathrin Schrocke’s Finding Alex, Meg Rosoff’s What I Was, John Green’s Looking for Alaska, Graham Gardner’s Inventing Elliot, Anthony McGowan’s The Knife That Killed Me, Kirsten Boie’s Nicht Chicago. Nicht hier., Mikael Engström’s Is draken (published in English as Thin Ice) and E.R. Frank’s America.
Original languageGerman
PublisherKøbenhavns Universitet, Det Humanistiske Fakultet
Number of pages285
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013

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