A Social Issue Essay

A Novel Approach: The Sociology of Literature, Children’s Books, and Social Inequality and is written by Dr. Amy E Singer, an assistant professor of sociology at Knox College. In this article, Dr. Singer samples children’s literature to show how children’s book deal with inequality. Specifically, she examines how literatures show that some people accept the unequal social structures and how other people try to overcome it. The author bases her research on previous works that were done by other sociologist, namely Wendy Griswold and Patricia Ewick and Susan Silbey to analyses subverts systems of inequality.

Their works examined literature in sociology and its influence of society. She adds to that research by attempting to show that some books are written to directly influence children. The author researched a sample of children books written between 1930 and 1950 to collect data to support her hypothesis. Her hypothesis states that that young people should be exposed to literary narratives because they can show young readers how the word is organized. “I focus on a text’s willingness to resist reproducing dominant social arrangements that are based upon inequality.

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I’m Interested in how children’s books might be subversive, how they might contain narratives about social inequality and especially about gender stratification, I look first to previous studies of children’s books to see how others have studied such things” (Singer 2011). The basis of her hypothesis is that narratives reflect society in a significant way. The main point that the author want get across is to show how through books, young readers understand how social systems work.

She poses that young readers can learn how these society works for the people inhabiting different parts of society and how those people might deal with social inequalities. In reading certain books about inequality, these readers may learn lessons and apply them to their everyday lives. Singer analyses the way children books are sometimes written with an adult audience in mind and that this may lead some authors to include adult themes that children may not understand.

In order to support her research; Dr Singer stated that she relied on Ewick and Silbey’s arguments about subversive stories intending to focus on the subversion of gender stratification. She looks at how a specific perspective can pointedly expose the audience to the ways to power and inequality work within a social setting in ways those readers may not encounter in their real lives. Dr. Singer also postulated that some children’s novels do little more than describe social inequality while others illustrate how social inequalities might be challenged or transformed.

She stated that by creating a way to identify stories that implicate social structures in the organization of social inequality, people may have to re-think the definition of a subversive novel because the topics need not be overtly provocative. This project answers an increasingly prevalent call that questions whether cultural analysis be empirically and theoretically grounded when the results may, indeed, lead to the same place (Singer, 2011).

This article examines the influence children’s literature has on the children who read them. This article questions whether the messages in the literature children are exposed to directly affect their understanding of the social impact of the topics such as social inequality, gender stratification, and racism. This article goes with the chapter on culture, because I believe that writers base the characters of their novels on the culture they are trying to write about and influence.

It also talks about gender stratification, and touched on social stratification. This research is based on the idea that literature touches on the subjects that reflect the social contract of society and addresses subjects such as racism and inequality. This article is different from articles in non-scholarly periodicals, such as magazines and newspapers because it is written following the APA format, the author stated her hypothesis and proceeded to prove its validity through research using the sampling method.

The author based her conclusion on extensive researched data. Magazine and newspapers sometimes use opinions of the author or a single interviewee for the article. The author of the magazine and newspapers does not perform sample and research to the extent of a journal article. Also, the magazine and newspapers tend to be about current events and general human interests, wider social structures. They are not published for educational or research purposes but for entertainment and leisure activities.