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Browsing by Subject "gender stereotypes"

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  • Pihlaja, Henrietta (2016)
    Gender roles have an effect on relationships, identity, society and habits. Adolescents might experience conflict with their gender identity and the expectations of society. Youth literature probably effects adolescents’ ideas of gender and gives them a model of how to be a “woman”, a “man” or a transgendered and how to act accordingly in relationships and society. The Finnish grade school curriculum instructs that there must be gender equality in education. Teachers of literature and Finnish language should encourage students to read literature that offers a view to the lives of gender- and sexual minorities. This kind of literature should make students think about their own manner of speech and behavior and give them a way to notice gendered issues in society. The function of this thesis was to research the means in which Marja Björk`s novel Poika represents gender roles and transgenderness. The target of this thesis is to assess how the novel fits the decrees of the curriculum and how it might affect adolescents’ thoughts of gender and impact their habits as a gendered subject.The research questions are: 1) In which ways does Marja Björk’s novel Poika represent transgenderness? 2) How are gender roles present in its’ transgender representations? The source material of this thesis was Marja Björk`s novel Poika which has been published by Like-kustannus in 2013. Poika has been the candidate of Finlandia Junior –price 2013. The material was categorized and discourse analysis was used to observe its’ representations of gender. There were two opposite discourses of source material. They were the discourse of dichotomic transgender and the discourse of gender diversity. The results were that representations of gender roles were mostly stereotypic and heteronormative. Also gender diversity was always represented inferior to dichotomic gender. Even though representations of gender were mostly stereotypic the story can offer a feeling of idenfication in gender minorities’ lives. In this point of view adolescents might start to think about their own behaviour after reading the book. The problem is that the book loses the humanity of the persons who identify themselves outside of the dichotomic gender. In this point of view Poika is not on the line with the curriculum’s instructions of gender equality. On the other hand Poika is still one of the only books with a transgendered protagonist.