Marika Andræ, Pappas flicka? Fäder och döttrar i ungdomslitteratur från 2000-talet. (Daddy’s Girl? Fathers and Daughters in Young Adult Literature from the 21st Century.)
How are relations between fathers and their teenage daughters depicted in early twentiethcentury young adult literature? The new research area of fatherhood, sociology of families and research concerning ethnic conflicts within the family is used as a background to the textual analysis of six novels where fathers and daughters are figured. Some modern manuals, directed separate to fathers and daughters, are used to reflect the ideal image of the relation between a father and a teenage daughter. The central notions in these advisory books are: to be a model, responsibility, communication, honesty, respect, confirmation and intimacy. These notions are used in the analysis. The fathers pictured in the novels are mostly ambivalent in their position as an adult and oftenly hand over the responsibility for the relationship to the daughters. The stories about ethnic conflicts picture fathers with strict authority. To handle this, the daughters either have to adjust to the existing power paradigm by guarding their behaviour, or use several strategies to avoid conflicts, or break up from their families. But the girls wish, nonetheless, for exactly the same relationship to their fathers as the daughters in the other novels. The girls want physical and mental intimacy, they want to be acknowledged as individuals and they long for a steady father figure who shares his daugther’s concerns. But they all seem to excuse the fathers for their inability to fulfill this. Instead they turn to a new relationship with a friend or a boyfriend. When the fathers do show some stumbling effort to develop a new kind of contact, the daughters willingly welcome the attempt with a great deal of benevolence. A comparison is also made with Vivi Edström’s study of the father and daughter theme in Swedish young adult novels from the 1970’s and 1980’s. There are resemblances between the older and the younger literature with regard to gender patterns: the daughter is described as a mature care-taker and the father as a little child.
Uppsala: Svenska Litteratursällskapet , 2006. Vol. 127, 395-441 p.