Polish children’s literature

  • Odmienność narodowa i etniczna w najnowszej polskiej literaturze dla młodego odbiorcy a wyzwania edukacji międzykulturowej

    Author: Anna Fornalczyk-Lipska
    Year of publication: 2017
    Source: Show
    Pages: 15-30
    DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/kie.2017.01.01
    PDF: kie/115/kie11501.pdf

    Children’s literature plays a key role in the process of socialization. It is one of the crucial factors which help the young reader to understand the surrounding world, also in terms of what is one’s own and what is other, different. On the one hand, its task is reflecting the existing reality, on the other-shaping specific attitudes towards it, for example through strengthening existing stereotypes or calling them in question. In English-language literature on the subject one can find numerous analyses of both broadly understood intercultural literature and depictions of individual nationalities, cultures, and races. So far, Polish children’s literature has not attracted much scholarly attention in this respect. It might result from the fact that the Polish population is to a large extent a homogenous group as regards race and nationality. However, this state of affairs is gradually changing, as Poland starts to attract migrants from all over the world and national and ethnic minorities already inhabiting the country are being discovered. In this context, it seems particularly interesting to ask if and how these social changes have influenced Polish children’s literature of today. The goal of this paper is to outline the issue of cultural diversity, in particular the presence of the national and ethnic “other” in the newest Polish children’s literature, according to criteria developed on the basis of Short, Lynch-Brown and Tomlinson’s guidelines (2014). The paper is also an attempt at determining to what extent Polish children’s literature corresponds with the model of intercultural education. As the analysis shows, Polish literature on cultural diversity is scarce, involves non-representative depictions of minorities, and lacks the “insider” perspective, and thus fulfills the postulates of intercultural education only in a limited way.

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