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oa Litnet Akademies : 'n Joernaal vir die Geesteswetenskappe, Natuurwetenskappe, Regte en Godsdienswetenskappe - Transgressie in die voorstelling van gender in deur Riana Scheepers en Vian Oelofsen : geesteswetenskappe

 

Abstract

Prenteboeke kan kragtige werktuie in die manipulering van jong kinders tot die aanvaarding van gestereotipeerde genderrolle wees. Kinders identifiseer met die karakters in storieboeke en vorm sodoende 'n eie mening oor die self en die wêreld om hulle. Die prenteboek met sy potensiële magte van kreatiwiteit, verbeelding en vryheid kan dus 'n belangrike rol in die ontwikkeling van genderidentiteit by klein kinders speel. Volgens 'n redelik onlangse studie onderneem deur Hamilton, Anderson, Broaddus en Young (2006) is seksisme in kinderboeke ongelukkig steeds aan die orde van die dag. Literatuur kan beskou word as die draer van die kultuur van 'n gemeenskap. Binne hierdie dominante kultuur word manlike karakters meestal voorgestel as sterk, dapper en slim, terwyl meisies die stil, stadige moederlikes sonder 'n wil van hul eie is. In hierdie artikel word die voorstelling van gender in die kinderboek deur Riana Scheepers, met illustrasies deur Vian Oelofsen, deur middel van diskoersanalise ondersoek. Daar is bevind dat die vroulike protagonis in hierdie boek sterk, eiesinnig, slim en selfhandhawend is. Met hierdie boek bied die skrywer en die illustreerder die jong leser 'n humoristiese alternatiewe diskoers tot dominante genderideologie. Die term verwys na die algemene opvatting oor gepaste rolle vir, en verantwoordelikhede van, vroue en mans binne die gemeenskap. Deur patrone van klank, herhaling en ritme skep die skrywer-digter 'n alternatief tot, en 'n parodie op, die dominante kultuur se reëls van sogenaamd "behoorlike" gedrag vir seuns en meisies. Die illustrasies ondersteun die subversiewe aard van die teks. Dit is my bevinding dat die bestaande orde van gendervooroordeel suksesvol uitgedaag word.


From birth onwards children are exposed to gender stereotyping. When a baby is born, response to it is defined by its biological sex. Researchers in the field of early child development argue that through language and discourse, culture constructs the boundaries that define properly manifested expressions of gender (Wickens 2011:150).
Picture books can be powerful tools in the manipulation of young children into accepting stereotypical gender roles. Children identify with the characters in the books to which they have access and through them the young child constructs an own opinion of the self and the surrounding world. The picture book, with its potential forces of creativity, imagination and freedom, can play an important part in the development of gender roles in small children.
According to research undertaken by Hamilton, Anderson, Broaddus and Young (2006:757) sexism in children's books unfortunately is alive and well and literature can be seen as the transmitter of society's culture. Male characters are often portrayed as being the strong, brave and clever ones, while the girls are quiet and motherly, with no will of their own. This behaviour is not innate but a result of the pressure of societal roles thrust on women/girls and men/boys by a male-dominated society. According to Hamilton et al. the stereotypical representation of women in children's literature can be harmful to the development of children. It can hamper their career aspirations and their attitude towards being a parent. It can also impede their personal development. As children are not mere passive observers, they develop within the reigning order of structure. They develop a set of rules to live by in accordance with the world they perceive around them. It is within this strong and rigid gendered society that picture book characters find themselves and it is within this stereotyped milieu that these characters must be presented as subversive and exciting. Unambiguous gender transgression in picture books gives children liberating access to an adventurous subversion of existing socio-cultural notions.
In this article I utilise discourse analysis to explore the ways in which an Afrikaans picture book has constructed and represented masculinity and femininity in text and image. I chose by Riana Scheepers and Vian Oelofsen because it is boldly subversive. Throughout the analysis I indicate the ways in which assumptions are dealt with subversively.

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/content/litnet/9/1/EJC120267
2012-03-01
2016-12-05
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