IJCH 2018 Vol.4(4): 102-108 ISSN: 2382-6177
doi: 10.18178/ijch.2018.4.4.130

Changes in Gender Stereotypes of Girl Characters in 20th and 21st-Century Croatian Children's Novels

Kristina Riman and Svetlana Stojanović
Abstract—Throughout the history of the Croatian education system, socialization of the child frequently implied learning about gender stereotypes. The main goal of this work is to investigate if gender stereotypes of girls in Croatian children's novels have changed from the beginning of the 20th century to the most contemporary novels. For that purpose, content analysis was performed on seven Croatian novels selected on the bases of their popularity, inclusion in school reading requirement lists and preliminary analysis of the centrality of gender roles in analyzed texts. In the introductory part, some specific features of Croatian children's literature are listed with a special emphasis on the Croatian children's novel. Subsequently, gender stereotypes in early childhood development and research on gender stereotypes are discussed. In the second part of the article, we analyses the characterization of girls in the selected children’s novels. Analysis indicates that gender stereotypes and counter-stereotypes are present in all novels. We found relatively more stereotypes in earlier novels and more counter-stereotypes in later novels. Also, stereotypes in earlier novels were delivered within educational context and purpose, while in later and most contemporary novels they are used as caricatures and for humorous effects.

Index Terms—Gender, stereotypes, Croatian children's novels, literature.

Kristina Riman is with the Juraj Dobrila University of Pula, Zagrebačka 30, 52100, Pula, Croatia (e-mail: kriman@unipu.hr). Svetlana Stojanović is with the Cerebral Palsy Association of the Istrian County, Gajeva 3, 52100 Pula, Croatia (e-mail: ucpiz.pu@gmail.com).

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Cite: Kristina Riman and Svetlana Stojanović, "Changes in Gender Stereotypes of Girl Characters in 20th and 21st-Century Croatian Children's Novels," International Journal of Culture and History vol. 4, no. 4, pp. 102-108, 2018.

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