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Den didaktiska fiktionen: Konstruktion av förebilder ur ett barn- och ungdomslitterärt perspektiv 1400–1750
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Literature and History of Ideas.
2012 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The Didactic Fiction : The Construction of Role Models from the Perspective of Literature for Children and Young Adults 1400–1750 (English)
Abstract [en]

This thesis investigates the construction of role models, more specifically literary didactics and constructions of subject positions, in literary works with exemplary stories in Swedish 1400–1750, from the perspective of literature for children and young adults.

Childhood concepts, didactic concepts and subject positions presented to the reader are analyzed from the point of view of dominance and dissonance between different characters and messages. A number of themes have been chosen for a comparative study, for example: ideas about identification, the construction of subject positions and ideals for girls, the responsibility of adults, subversive tendencies, obedience or autonomy, the immoral role model as exemplary, conflicts between different childhood concepts, adults and children as role models.

A central conclusion is that there is variation when it comes to the subject positions that are constructed for children and young adults, mainly through role models. There are examples of authoritative teachings that demands the subordination and obedience of the reader/recipient, as well as encouragement of questioning and even contra conventional subject positions. One conclusion is that premodern literature for the young does not just have an authoritative tone towards the reader, but the texts also negotiates with the reader. The messages are not just about obedience and religious fidelity, but also about learning, questioning and personal, moral responsibility. A critical perspective on adults is encouraged through critizism of adults and exemplary role models. Subject positions for girls also vary in the texts. Some texts convey conventional, passive gender roles while others present active subject positions, where chastity, wisdom and manliness are presented as ideal virtues for girls.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis, 2012. , 319 p.
Stockholm studies in history of literature, ISSN 0491-0869 ; 54Skrifter utgivna av Svenska barnboksinstitutet, ISSN 0347-5387 ; 117
Keyword [en]
children's literature, history of children's literature, literature for children and young adults, role model, literary didactics, didactics, medieval children's literature, early modern children's literature, literary history, gender, dominance, subject position, empowering, concepts of childhood, childhood, exempla
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-74273ISBN: 978-91-86071-87-5 (print)OAI: diva2:507409
Public defence
2012-04-14, Auditorium 215, Humanistvillan, Frescativägen 24, Stockholm, 10:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2012-03-22 Created: 2012-03-05 Last updated: 2015-06-16Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

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