• Connecting Childhood Studies, Age Studies, and Children’s Literature Studies: John Wall’s Concept of Childism and Anne Fine’s The Granny Project

    Author(s):
    Vanessa Joosen (see profile)
    Date:
    2022
    Group(s):
    Children's literature and digital humanities
    Subject(s):
    Children's stories, Children, Old age
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    children's literature studies, childism, English fiction, age studies, anne Fine
    Permanent URL:
    https://doi.org/10.17613/s35v-sk35
    Abstract:
    Diverging definitions and uses of concepts such as “ageism,” “aetonormativity,” “adultism,” and “childism” point at the relative separateness of the fields of childhood studies, age studies, and children’s literature studies, while also highlighting their shared interest in questions of age, prejudice, and agency. This article uses John Wall’s concept of “childism” to highlight the potential of bringing these fields into conversation to explore intergenerational relationships. Using Anne Fine’s The Granny Project (1983) as a case study, it shows, moreover, that children’s books themselves can help foster the paradigm shift that Wall envisages with childism. Fine’s novel about four children’s resistance to their parents’ plans to move their grandmother out of their home thematises processes of othering, ageist prejudices, human rights, and intergenerational dialogue and care. While provocative scenes and gaps in the story may pose hurdles to children’s engagement and even risk reinforcing ageist stereotypes, the novel testifies to a belief in young readers’ agency and the potential for intergenerational understanding that Wall puts central in his concept of childism.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    9 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved

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