Wilson argues that '...[A]n understanding of abjection is crucial to perceiving both the implied and explicit limitations placed upon the human construction of agency and the effect it has on the construction of teenagers within story discourses' (24). Wilson critiques three novels, Night Train (Judith Clarke), Touching Earth Lightly (Margo Lanagan) and Peeling the Onion (Wendy Orr) alongside the concept of abjection, which is 'intimately associated with the repulsive, despicable and loathsome aspects of human nature and society ' (24). Wilson points out how most young adult novels are concerned with narratives of maturation and the construction of (adult) subjectivity and as such abjection 'is a constant threat to subjective development' through its ability to disturb ordered systems, which includes one's identity (24). According to Wilson,the novels demonstrate an 'ubiquitous concern...with issues of subjectivity and maturation' in fiction for young adult readers and essentially support the view that 'the identity of the subject engulfed by abjection will ultimately be erased' (29-30).
Fernandez discusses developments in contemporary Australia regarding ethnic identities through a reading of Alan Baille's Secrets of Walden Rising and Melina Marchetta's Looking for Alibrandi. In relation to the changing nature of Australia's 'ethnic mix', Fernandez views both texts as examples of Australian literature that 'mediates the conflicts between two or more distinct cultures as well as hybrid cultures that have arisen from generation to generation' (p.39). A common feature of multicultural narratives says Fernandez, is the 'breakdown of existing structures of society and the representation of individuals as well as whole communities in a state of transition' (p.42) and in this case, she argues, both texts 'help to open the channels of cross-cultural exchange and social debate' and minimize 'the marginalizing potential of being an ethnic minority' (p.45).