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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Systemic oppression in children's portal-quest fantasy literature Owen, Christopher


This thesis investigates the representation of systemic oppression in Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Employing Foucauldian poststructuralism and critical discourse analysis, this research identifies how the social systems of the fantasy texts construct hierarchies based on race and gender, and social norms based on sexuality and disability. Privilege and oppression are identified as the results of the relaying of power relations by social institutions through strategies such as dominant discourses. This study questions the historically understood role of children’s and fantasy literature as socialization tools, and the potential negative consequences of this.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada