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"I sagor kan det ju vara lite annorlunda": En studie av genusperformans i barns tal kring boken Kivi och monsterhund
Södertörn University, School of Gender, Culture and History.
2012 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

After recognizing a lack of children’s voices in the debate about the children’s book Kivi och monsterhund and the gender-neutral pronoun hen that occurred in the beginning of the year of 2012, I decided to interview pre-school children about the same book. My purpose with the study was, using semi-structured group interviews, to examine how 6-year olds talked about the main character Kivi. With the help of Judith Butler’s theory of performativity, I have studied how the children constructed Kivi’s gender in their speech. I have looked at how they recall the appearance of Kivi to establish their gender, and detected insecurity when the normative gender attribute was questioned. I have also studied which pronouns the children used, and in which contexts they used them. I found that they mixed pronouns during the interviews, which I noted as a possible sign of gender insecurity or a consequence of grammatical immaturity. Lastly I looked at how the children spoke about Kivi in relation to activity and characteristics. My conclusion is that Swedish language as it is now makes it hard to speak about more than two genders, and therefore the word hen could be useful. The incapacity to speak about Kivi as neither a boy nor a girl, or maybe both, generates a need among the children to “decide” their “proper” gender. With hen comes the opportunity to speak beyond these language barriers, and therefore also make it a possible existence.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 40 p.
Keyword [en]
Gender, performativity, children's literature, conversation analysis, children's interviews
Keyword [sv]
Genus, performativitet, hen, Kivi och monsterhund, barnbok, samtalsanalys, barnintervju.
National Category
Gender Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-16585OAI: diva2:536789
Subject / course
Gender Studies
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2012-06-25 Created: 2012-06-20 Last updated: 2012-06-25Bibliographically approved

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