Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Studies (BA)
C. Richard King
This feminist cultural intervention examines the power children’s literature has in its ability to interpellate its readers and normalize dominant gendered identities for them. It draws on the work of feminist theorists, such as bell hooks, Judith Butler, and Sandra Bem to interrogate the politics of gender and sexuality in The Little Golden Book series and to examine how the latter has actively worked to create specific cisnormative gender identities for its readers. In this project, Chandler Clifford shows how children’s literature is used as an ideological tool to teach children how gender is performed in the outside world and what gendered subjects are supposed to be and do. Through her deconstruction of The Little Golden Books , from their early beginnings in the 1940s to the recent re-releases of old books and the publication of new ones in the series, Clifford argues that the series has continued to produce and reproduce the same view of cisnormative gender as a guide for children that puts gender into a reductive hierarchy that completely ignores all non-binary gender and sexual subjectivities.
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Clifford, Chandler, "Everything I Know About Gender I Learned from a Little Golden Book!" (2019). Cultural Studies Capstone Papers. 61.