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Beyond stereotypes? Talking about gender in school booktalk
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Learning, Aesthetics, Natural science. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences. (Pedagogiskt arbete)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2822-4789
2008 (English)In: Ethnography and Education, ISSN 1745-7823, E-ISSN 1745-7831, Vol. 3, no 2, 129-144 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Swedish educational system states that work in schools should depict and mediate equality. One way of achieving this is through fiction, which according to the syllabus provides students with knowledge about the living conditions of women and men during different epochs and places. The present paper examines gender in a Swedish school, analysing ‘book club’ discussions, using a discursive approach. The data consist of video-recorded teacher-led booktalk sessions, involving small groups of pupils in grades 4_7. It was found that the teachers and/or the pupils invoked gender issues in all book club sessions. The fictive events were, at times, discussed in gender-stereotyped ways. Yet, the teachers and pupils also transcended gender stereotypes in several cases. In many of those cases, there was a generational pattern, in that the participants tended to apply less stereotyped thinking when talking about fictive characters of their own age.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor and Francis , 2008. Vol. 3, no 2, 129-144 p.
Keyword [en]
booktalk, children’s literature, discursive psychology, gender, reader response
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified General Literature Studies Gender Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-12297DOI: 10.1080/17457820802062367OAI: diva2:18524

Original publication: Katarina Eriksson Barajas, Beyond stereotypes? Talking about gender in school booktalk, 2008, Ethnography and Education, (3), 2, 129-144. Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business

Available from: 2008-06-19 Created: 2008-06-19 Last updated: 2014-02-03Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Life and Fiction: On intertextuality in pupils’ booktalk
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Life and Fiction: On intertextuality in pupils’ booktalk
2002 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study examines booktalk, that is, teacher-led group discussions about books for children in a Swedish school. The empirical data comprise 24 hours of videorecorded booktalk in grades 4–7. In total, 40 children (aged 10–14 years) were recorded during 24 sessions. The present approach diverges from previous readerresponse studies in that it draws on authentic data, and in that it examines talk at a micro level, applying an approach from discursive psychology. By focusing on authentic book discussions, the study contributes to the development of readerresponse methods.

All eight books applied in the booktalk sessions involved some type of  existential issue: freedom, separation, loyalty, and mortal danger (Chapter 4). Yet, such issues were rarely discussed. An important task of the present thesis was to understand why such issues did not materialise, that is, what did not take place. In Chapter 5, a series of booktalk dilemmas were identified. The booktalk sessions were generally lively and informal. Yet, booktalk as such was often transformed into other local educational projects; e.g. time scheduling, vocabulary lessons or reading aloud exercises.

Gender was invoked in all booktalk sessions (Chapter 6). In line with predictions from reader-response theory, progressive texts were, at times, discussed in gender stereotypical ways. The findings also revealed a generational pattern in that the pupils discussed fictive children in less traditional ways than adult characters.

The interface between texts and life was invoked in all booktalk sessions (Chapter 7). There was, again, a generational pattern in that children entertained ideas other than those of their teachers concerning legitimate topics in a school context. Also, the discussions revealed a problem of balance between pupils’ privacy, on the one hand, and engaging discussions on texts and life, on the other.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2002. 77 + references and appendicies A-C p.
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 251
Reader response, children’s literature, discourse analysis, booktalk, gender, barn och böcker, bokprat, diskursanalys, intertextualitet, litteraturpedagogik i skolan
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-15146 (URN)91-7373-299-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2002-05-08, Hörsalen, Stadsbiblioteket, Östgötagatan 5, 581 19 Linköping, Linköping, 13:15 (English)
Available from: 2008-10-17 Created: 2008-10-17 Last updated: 2014-09-12Bibliographically approved

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