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Alternative title: Australasian Children's Literature Association for Research (ACLAR) Conference. (3rd.,: Melbourne 1999)
... Class Matters in Some Recent Australian Children's Fiction
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

Here Pope looks at representations of social class in two Australian novels, The Best Thing (1995, Lanagan) and Stony Heart Country (1999, Metzenthen). She approaches class as 'performative', drawing on Judith Butler's notion of gender performativity to analyse the codes and conventions which signify social status and argues that both texts 'work towards an acceptance of existing class differences through a humanist and universalizing view of people which ignores the limitations class divisions create' (pp.39, 43). Pope's concern is that as tools of socialisation, 'texts position their readers...to occupy particular subject positions' and as such, 'provide oppurtunities to explore different subjectivities, to reinforce or confirm existing ones, or...to subvert them' (p.39). As social class is a crucial factor in influencing how we exist and how we are seen by others, it is extremely important, says Pope, to critique the ideological assumptions which underpin representations of class in children's fiction as the dominant ideologies 'continue to represent the imaginary relationship of individuals to their real conditions of their existence' and this ensures the ongoing hegemony of hierarchical class divisions (p.43).
Last amended 25 Sep 2007 13:40:09
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