A Critical Content Analysis of International Travel Experiences in Children's Literature

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/293617
Title:
A Critical Content Analysis of International Travel Experiences in Children's Literature
Author:
Hou, Yu-Ying
Issue Date:
2013
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
This study examines representations of intercultural learning in global children’s literature through critical content analysis. Cosmopolitanism provides a vision to connect individuals to the global communities through a critical lens. According to Rizvi (2009), intercultural learning should bridge the local and the global, move between cultures and communities, and develop transnational compassion and collaboration. Intercultural learning involves explorations of culture, active participation in the world, and critical thinking on issues that are normally taken for granted. Intercultural learning is not just learning about other cultures but focuses on individuals’ awareness of their roles in the world and collaboration with people from global communities to make the world a better place. With this idea in mind, global children’s literature is a useful resource to introduce readers to the global community and to their responsibility in the world. This study is based on the importance of engaging with high quality global children’s literature to widen and deepen readers’ worldviews. Because readers are influenced by what they read and share, how books depict cross cultural experiences and international communities is crucial. Therefore, how books portray intercultural learning experiences in a global context is important to examine. This study provides a new lens on global children’s literature because limited research has been done to understand how the idea of intercultural learning through international travel is portrayed in books at a time when many readers have the opportunity to travel across the continents. The theoretical framework of this study consists of intercultural theories, global competency and critical literacy. This study looks at culture as ways of living that involve people’s thoughts, values and engagements in daily life. In addition, two intercultural learning theories are used to examine the protagonists’ learning including a continuum of intercultural learning by David Hoopes (1979) and a developmental model of intercultural sensitivity by Milton Bennett (1986, 1993, 2004, 2009). Theories relate to global education such as global competence by Hanvey (2000) and Case (1993), intercultural communicative competence by Michael Byram (1997), and cosmopolitanism by Rizvi (2005, 2006,2007, 2008, 2009 ) and Calhoun (2002). These theories inform my notion of intercultural learning in different ways. In addition, critical literacy is crucial to this study because it focuses on the characteristics that allow individuals to discover their role, relationship and responsibility with others in the world. Nine children and young adult’s realistic fiction novels were selected for this study. The books all involved protagonists’ explorations of new cultures, places, and people as they traveled to another country for short term visits. All of them have close relationships with at least one local friend. Critical content analysis is used to examine the text from a critical point of view to understand whether the international journey enables the protagonists to critically examine their privileges and responsibility in the world. In this study, critical literacy supports my concept of intercultural learning and it is also used to develop useful thinking tools (adapted from Jones, 2006) to examine the texts from a deeper perspective. First, the findings indicate that intercultural learning is portrayed with exoticism in this text set. In several of the books, international travel is associated with romance and exotic cultural icons. Secondly, insider authors and the authors who have close relationships with the groups they write about are more careful about cultural authenticity than outsider authors. Many of the insider authors care about the cultures they wrote about; therefore, they embed social messages in the stories. Additionally, several writers employ a writing formula to depict international travelers’ intercultural learning process. The formula does not reflect readers’ diverse cultural backgrounds in the current world. Lastly, throughout the journey, only a few protagonists develop critical consciousness regarding their roles in the global community. Conclusions from the analysis suggest the need for more sophisticated global children’s literature that highlights international travel and cross cultural relationships. The implication section provides recommendations to educators, teacher educators, and publishers and suggestions for further research.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Cosmopolitanism; Critical literacy; Intercultural learning; International travel; Social justice; Language, Reading & Culture; Children's literature
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Language, Reading & Culture
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Short, Kathy

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleA Critical Content Analysis of International Travel Experiences in Children's Literatureen_US
dc.creatorHou, Yu-Yingen_US
dc.contributor.authorHou, Yu-Yingen_US
dc.date.issued2013-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThis study examines representations of intercultural learning in global children’s literature through critical content analysis. Cosmopolitanism provides a vision to connect individuals to the global communities through a critical lens. According to Rizvi (2009), intercultural learning should bridge the local and the global, move between cultures and communities, and develop transnational compassion and collaboration. Intercultural learning involves explorations of culture, active participation in the world, and critical thinking on issues that are normally taken for granted. Intercultural learning is not just learning about other cultures but focuses on individuals’ awareness of their roles in the world and collaboration with people from global communities to make the world a better place. With this idea in mind, global children’s literature is a useful resource to introduce readers to the global community and to their responsibility in the world. This study is based on the importance of engaging with high quality global children’s literature to widen and deepen readers’ worldviews. Because readers are influenced by what they read and share, how books depict cross cultural experiences and international communities is crucial. Therefore, how books portray intercultural learning experiences in a global context is important to examine. This study provides a new lens on global children’s literature because limited research has been done to understand how the idea of intercultural learning through international travel is portrayed in books at a time when many readers have the opportunity to travel across the continents. The theoretical framework of this study consists of intercultural theories, global competency and critical literacy. This study looks at culture as ways of living that involve people’s thoughts, values and engagements in daily life. In addition, two intercultural learning theories are used to examine the protagonists’ learning including a continuum of intercultural learning by David Hoopes (1979) and a developmental model of intercultural sensitivity by Milton Bennett (1986, 1993, 2004, 2009). Theories relate to global education such as global competence by Hanvey (2000) and Case (1993), intercultural communicative competence by Michael Byram (1997), and cosmopolitanism by Rizvi (2005, 2006,2007, 2008, 2009 ) and Calhoun (2002). These theories inform my notion of intercultural learning in different ways. In addition, critical literacy is crucial to this study because it focuses on the characteristics that allow individuals to discover their role, relationship and responsibility with others in the world. Nine children and young adult’s realistic fiction novels were selected for this study. The books all involved protagonists’ explorations of new cultures, places, and people as they traveled to another country for short term visits. All of them have close relationships with at least one local friend. Critical content analysis is used to examine the text from a critical point of view to understand whether the international journey enables the protagonists to critically examine their privileges and responsibility in the world. In this study, critical literacy supports my concept of intercultural learning and it is also used to develop useful thinking tools (adapted from Jones, 2006) to examine the texts from a deeper perspective. First, the findings indicate that intercultural learning is portrayed with exoticism in this text set. In several of the books, international travel is associated with romance and exotic cultural icons. Secondly, insider authors and the authors who have close relationships with the groups they write about are more careful about cultural authenticity than outsider authors. Many of the insider authors care about the cultures they wrote about; therefore, they embed social messages in the stories. Additionally, several writers employ a writing formula to depict international travelers’ intercultural learning process. The formula does not reflect readers’ diverse cultural backgrounds in the current world. Lastly, throughout the journey, only a few protagonists develop critical consciousness regarding their roles in the global community. Conclusions from the analysis suggest the need for more sophisticated global children’s literature that highlights international travel and cross cultural relationships. The implication section provides recommendations to educators, teacher educators, and publishers and suggestions for further research.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectCosmopolitanismen_US
dc.subjectCritical literacyen_US
dc.subjectIntercultural learningen_US
dc.subjectInternational travelen_US
dc.subjectSocial justiceen_US
dc.subjectLanguage, Reading & Cultureen_US
dc.subjectChildren's literatureen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineLanguage, Reading & Cultureen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorShort, Kathyen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberRuiz, Richarden_US
dc.contributor.committeememberPerry, Gilmoreen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberIddings, Ana Chrisen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberShort, Kathyen_US
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