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Representing childhood

July 15, 2011

I thought this was interesting:

“Identity politics have changed the way we classify literature by opening up the canon, but they have also changed the way we approach literature. We’ve learned to recognize that biology is not destiny – sex doesn’t necessarily determine gender or orientation, nor do fictitious absolutes like blood ratios measure ethnocultural identity, and so in an effort to avoid false generalizing about “others” we endorse individual self-representation, all the while recognizing how society constructs us.  But when it comes to representing the position we call childhood, there is little opportunity in legitimated discourse for children’s self-representation and inadequate attention to social constructedness.”

Ref: Elusive childhood : impossible representations in modern fiction / Susan Honeyman. Columbus : Ohio State University Press, c2005 (from the summary; my emphasis)

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