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Boy Beats Up Boy: Homophobia and Gender Performativity in David Levithan’s 'Boy Meets Boy' and Jonathan Tropper’s 'The Book of Joe'

Marosan, Toni LU (2017) ÄENC51 20172
English Studies
Educational Sciences
Abstract
The essay explored two young adult novels with LGBT+ content. This was done through two research questions. The first research question explored how the male homosexual identities were constructed by examining representations of gender binaries and homophobia. Secondly, the essay examined in what ways the novels might be used to inform Swedish students about the issues that face the LGBT+ community. This was done since the Swedish National Agency for Education emphasizes, in the curriculum, that all tendencies to discrimination should actively be combated. The material consisted of Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan and The Book of Joe by Jonathan Tropper. One novel was selected for following general trends within LGBT+ content novels, and... (More)
The essay explored two young adult novels with LGBT+ content. This was done through two research questions. The first research question explored how the male homosexual identities were constructed by examining representations of gender binaries and homophobia. Secondly, the essay examined in what ways the novels might be used to inform Swedish students about the issues that face the LGBT+ community. This was done since the Swedish National Agency for Education emphasizes, in the curriculum, that all tendencies to discrimination should actively be combated. The material consisted of Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan and The Book of Joe by Jonathan Tropper. One novel was selected for following general trends within LGBT+ content novels, and the other was selected for containing an LGBT+ inclusive community. The material was analyzed through a qualitative content analysis using a deductively created coding scheme based on previous research and Queer theory. The samples that were used to support the analysis were selected because those were the parts where homophobia intersected with masculinity and/or femininity. The analysis revealed that femininely coded homosexual males were subjected to violent homophobia in both novels.
Another result was that straight masculine male characters are presented as problematic in both novels. A limitation with the study was that the analysis was confined to the two novels. The study suggests that due to this limitation, further research might want to explore how these novels could be used in practice and whether the problematic elements that were raised in the analysis are of a concern or not for such purposes. (Less)
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author
Marosan, Toni LU
supervisor
organization
course
ÄENC51 20172
year
type
L3 - Miscellaneous, Projetcs etc.
subject
keywords
Homophobia, young adult fiction, gender performativity, masculinity and femininity, LGBT+
language
English
id
8934512
date added to LUP
2018-02-12 09:06:13
date last changed
2018-02-12 09:06:13
@misc{8934512,
  abstract     = {The essay explored two young adult novels with LGBT+ content. This was done through two research questions. The first research question explored how the male homosexual identities were constructed by examining representations of gender binaries and homophobia. Secondly, the essay examined in what ways the novels might be used to inform Swedish students about the issues that face the LGBT+ community. This was done since the Swedish National Agency for Education emphasizes, in the curriculum, that all tendencies to discrimination should actively be combated. The material consisted of Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan and The Book of Joe by Jonathan Tropper. One novel was selected for following general trends within LGBT+ content novels, and the other was selected for containing an LGBT+ inclusive community. The material was analyzed through a qualitative content analysis using a deductively created coding scheme based on previous research and Queer theory. The samples that were used to support the analysis were selected because those were the parts where homophobia intersected with masculinity and/or femininity. The analysis revealed that femininely coded homosexual males were subjected to violent homophobia in both novels.
Another result was that straight masculine male characters are presented as problematic in both novels. A limitation with the study was that the analysis was confined to the two novels. The study suggests that due to this limitation, further research might want to explore how these novels could be used in practice and whether the problematic elements that were raised in the analysis are of a concern or not for such purposes.},
  author       = {Marosan, Toni},
  keyword      = {Homophobia,young adult fiction,gender performativity,masculinity and femininity,LGBT+},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Boy Beats Up Boy: Homophobia and Gender Performativity in David Levithan’s 'Boy Meets Boy' and Jonathan Tropper’s 'The Book of Joe'},
  year         = {2017},
}