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Issue Details: First known date: 2001... 2001 Class Matters in Some Recent Australian Children's Fiction
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Pope looks at two examples of Australian adolescent literature, The Best Thing by Margo Lanagan and Stony Heart Country by David Metzenthen, to address the infrequent attention given to the representation of social class in Australian children's texts. She posits that the conservative approach of Australian politics, particularly the Liberal Government's attitude towards unions and union labour, means that the Marxist definition of social class still has relevance in terms of understanding the effects of industrial and economic power. As Pope points out, 'Social class contributes markedly to our sense of self , our subjectivity. Literary texts can provide opportunities to explore different subjectivites, to reinforce or confirm existing ones, or alternately to subvert them' (39). Pope's analysis concludes that while both texts offer a 'fair representation of the working classes' they both work towards dismantling class difference through a 'humanist and universalizing view of people' which ultimately 'ignores the limitations that class divisions create' (42-43). She argues that both novels essentailly naturalize the class divisions which underpin Australian economic and social structures which positions the reader to accept rather than challenge the notion that social hierarchies are inevitable.

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Last amended 27 Sep 2007 12:05:40
38-43 Class Matters in Some Recent Australian Children's Fictionsmall AustLit logo Papers : Explorations into Children's Literature