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Tuesday, April 24 • 2:20pm - 2:40pm
Diversity In Children's Literature: An Examination Of Books In Asheville Elementary Schools

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Lack of representation of minority or marginalized groups in children’s literature is not a new phenomenon. The term “diverse literature” has been implemented to embrace a broad scope of identities in literature, such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, immigration status, disability, and cultural and linguistic differences. Research has demonstrated that there are myriad reasons why this type of representation matters in children’s literature, such as validation and valuation of identity, creation of positive associations with books and reading, self-empowerment, and imagination development. In the present study, a content analysis of elementary schools’ library catalogues is performed to examine the books available to children in the elementary schools (including public and private) in Asheville, North Carolina. Asheville is one of the few liberal cities in a predominantly conservative state, and has an active LGBTQ+ community, but is almost 80% white. The data empirically evaluates the type and amount of diverse literature available to elementary school students in Asheville, and how this differs based on the school. The present study then sociologically illuminates the theoretical implications of how diverse literature is (or is not) presented to children in a predominately white, liberal city in the Southeastern United States.

Tuesday April 24, 2018 2:20pm - 2:40pm PDT
236 Zageir Hall

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