During my own professional experience as a school library media specialist, I often heard my female students designate graphic novels as being "boy books;" therefore I sought to examine the ways in which a group of Midwestern high school students read gender in three graphic novels recommended for teens by the Young Adult Library Services Association. The framework for this qualitative study was informed by the fields of cultural studies and feminism. After spending four months observing and interacting with the students and teachers in this particular high school, I, along with a male research assistant, conducted unstructured focus group interviews and individual interviews with eight female and seven male participants who had read each graphic novel. Analysis of the data included a coding process that was performed on the interview transcripts as well as my own fieldnotes. The results of this analysis indicated that the participants enjoyed reading graphic novels, although to varying degrees, and did not feel that they were "boy books." Despite this, the participants did express a sense that their teachers and peers did not consider graphic novels to be legitimate sources of curricular material compared to traditional texts which they referred to as "real books." The male participants found graphic novel reading to be a very rewarding experience whereas the female participants felt that graphic novel reading did not sufficiently challenge their imaginative and analytical skills as they had experienced with traditional novels. At the end of this research, I suggested ways in which graphic novels can become legitimated within the context of schooling.
|Advisor:||Flinders, David, Irwin, Marilyn|
|Commitee:||Helfenbein, Robert, Yazzie-Mintz, Tarajean|
|Department:||School of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Indiana|
|Source:||DAI-A 69/11, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Library science, Secondary education, Curriculum development, Gender studies|
|Keywords:||Comic literature, Cultural analysis, Curriculum, Feminist, Gender, Gender in children's literature, Graphic novels|
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