Growing Sideways in Twenty-first Century British Culture
Challenging boundaries between childhood and adulthood
This volume examines changing boundaries between childhood and adulthood in British society and culture at the beginning of the twenty-first century − where these age boundaries are widely debated, policed, and contested − to investigate alternatives to conventional ideas of growing up. Building on observations, especially in children’s literature criticism, that human growth is shaped by a grand narrative that privileges adulthood, and on terminologies of non-normative growth, particularly in queer theory, this monograph develops growing sideways as a concept that queers this grand narrative by destabilising childhood and adulthood, and the boundaries between them. The concept is refined through close readings of twenty-first century British children’s literature, television series, film, and participatory events, troubling age boundaries via specific strategies in three conceptual areas: appearance, play, and space. Exploring power structures around age and gender, this monograph traces growing sideways as a distinct and important alternative discourse of human growth.
[Children’s Literature, Culture, and Cognition, 11] 2021. xi, 229 pp.
Publishing status: Available
© John Benjamins
Table of Contents
List of figures | p. xi
List of abbreviations | pp. xii–xiii
Acknowledgements | p. xiv
Introduction: Structures of feeling growth | pp. 1–20
Growing sideways: Queering normative ideas of growing up | pp. 21–62
Appearance: Passing | Cross-dressing | pp. 63–104
Play: Performative (role) play | Play(fulness) as a queer way of life | pp. 105–148
Space: Resistance | Release | pp. 149–192
Conclusion: Feeling growth sideways | pp. 193–202
References | pp. 203–225
Index | pp. 227–229
“With its thoughtful, impeccably researched, and conceptualised approach, Growing Sideways is an exciting work that will undoubtedly inspire future research.”
Elizabeth West, University of Reading, in International Research in Children's Literature 15:2 (2022).
Subjects & Metadata
Literature & Literary Studies
BIC Subject: DSY – Children's literature studies: general
BISAC Subject: LIT009000 – LITERARY CRITICISM / Children's & Young Adult Literature