Traversing and contesting the textuality of gender in mainstream children's fiction


  • Lilijana Burcar University of Ljubljana



Children's literature / Gender Studies / Feminist literary criticism


The article first outlines the way in which mainstream children's fiction has traditionally sought to address and underrnine the artificiality of oppositional and hierarchical gender paradigms. Pro-ferninist texts that abound in mainstream children's literature have never really extricated themselves from the bonds of gender-related binarisations and hierarchizations because their approach in delineating girl protagonists hasbeen premised primarily upon a mere reverslil of masculine and ferninine defined attributes. By insisting only on the exarnination and reversal of attributes, mainstream children's fiction has fallen short of investigating narrative mechanisms which are essential to the understanding of how subjectivities, regardless of their feminine or masculine inflections,  are constituted in the first place. To address this issue, it is argued that children's mainstream literature should embrace such literary devices as metafiction and genre mixing. The article goes on to demonstrate the kind of impact these devices have in challenging and underrnining the socially constructed notions of oppositional and hierarchical gender paradigms on those children who have been subject to traditionalliterary socialization.


Download data is not yet available.




How to Cite

Burcar, L. (2003). Traversing and contesting the textuality of gender in mainstream children’s fiction. Acta Neophilologica, 36(1-2), 153–162.