The Appearance of Political Correctness in Children’s Literature:
With special regards to Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever
Political correctness is one of the most controversial cultural and academic issues of today. Although because of its interdisciplinary nature it can be studied in relation to American English. In this paper the main focus is on the new interdisciplinary studies emerging in the scope of academics, such as multicultural literature; narrowing down to children’s multicultural literature. The purpose of this essay is to study the development of political correctness in children’s literature and also to try to explore whether it is a clear cut appearance of the phenomenon, or it is whether a continuing…show more content…
Is it only a revision, a change in style, to be more up to date? Or is it more a conscious changing of images to be shown to children at early ages. I am going to illustrate these phenomena with pictures as well. Furthermore I would also like to make more categories based on text and the words used in the dictionary, but firstly the focus is on visual representation.
Different changes in the images can be categorized as well. Based on the personal exploration, I have come to list the following categories: 1. Gender roles (family roles, occupational stereotypes) 2. Representation of different ethnic groups 3. Religious references 4. Political reference To start with gender roles I would like to explain a little more what results the research come up with. Firstly, the typical gender roles in the 1963 edition were the “old”, conservative stereotyping of sexes. Probably the most striking example for this can be found in the kitchen of the “rabbit house”. In the 1963 edition it is only mother rabbit that is standing at the stove in the kitchen, stating the stereotypical role of a woman, to do the housework. However, in the 1991 edition the image had been revised. It is not only the household equipment that has been renewed, but father rabbit appears with mother rabbit in the kitchen as well. Moreover he is there to help in preparing for breakfast, so now the male member of the