Issue Details: First known date: 2003 2003
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In this article Pearce contends that multiculturalism has been a part of Australia's official discourse for almost thirty years (at time of writing). She claims that the progress of multiculturalism can be traced through books for children and young adults. To support this argument Pearce refers to an article and a chapter by John Stephens on multiculturalism to frame her paper. Initially, Pearce outlines the two main stages of multiculturalism in children's texts identified by Stephens. The first stage contains texts written by authors from the dominant Anglo-Celtic majority and feature focalisers and narrators from that same group. The second stage sees a shift to include characters and narrators from ethnic minority groups which provide an 'insider perspective' but such texts are still usually mediated through Anglo-Celtic authors. Pearce then proposes a third stage in which texts use 'authentic' voices created by authors from minority backgrounds. Rather than focus on aspects of 'difference' the characters' cultural heritage is incidental, rather than pivotal, to their developing subjectivities. The third stage includes texts in which, according to Pearce, ethnicity is not the marker of cultural difference, but an accepted part of Australian life.

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Works about this Work

Visual Identities : Australianness in Australian Picture Books Pam Macintyre , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Teaching Australian Literature : From Classroom Conversations to National Imaginings 2011; (p. 352-368)
‘The literature written for young people can be a vehicle for mediating change in mainstream attitudes, or it can confirm existing values. As with all literature, it carries ideologies. In this chapter, I will focus on the picture book, which constructs its meanings through dual visual and written texts. In particular, I will analyse selected, recent award-winning Australian picture books for their representations of ‘Australianness’.’ (From author’s introduction, p. 352)
Visual Identities : Australianness in Australian Picture Books Pam Macintyre , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Teaching Australian Literature : From Classroom Conversations to National Imaginings 2011; (p. 352-368)
‘The literature written for young people can be a vehicle for mediating change in mainstream attitudes, or it can confirm existing values. As with all literature, it carries ideologies. In this chapter, I will focus on the picture book, which constructs its meanings through dual visual and written texts. In particular, I will analyse selected, recent award-winning Australian picture books for their representations of ‘Australianness’.’ (From author’s introduction, p. 352)
Last amended 26 Nov 2012 12:17:28
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