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The Proportion and Its Meaning of Characters with Immigration Background in Children’s and Young Adult Books: Focusing on Books Published Since 2000

  • Journal of the Korean Biblia Society for Library and Information Science
  • 2020, 31(1), pp.43-66
  • DOI : 10.14699/kbiblia.2020.31.1.043
  • Publisher : Journal Of The Korean Biblia Society For Library And Information Science
  • Research Area : Interdisciplinary Studies > Library and Information Science
  • Received : February 13, 2020
  • Accepted : March 9, 2020
  • Published : March 30, 2020

Yeojoo Lim 1

1신라대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study analyzed Korean children’s books that include ethnically and racially diverse characters, focusing on representation of ethnic minority and cultural sensitivity. Drawing from fiction recommendations by Happy Morning Reading from 2005 to 2017, only 32 books out of 3,214 books, less than 1%, include people with racially and ethnically diverse background. Among the 32 books, 23 featured educative messages inspired by the belief of social justice; four could be categorized as so-called ‘melting pot’ books, five depicted stories featuring characters that respect different cultures from their own. The issue tackled in the stories differed with the economical standing of the character’s country of origin. When a character or her/his parent is from a developing country, the main issues of the book were racial discrimination, bullying, hostility against foreign-born parents, or harsh experience of migrant workers. On the other hand, when a character or her/his parent is from a developed country, the plots often surround the character’s hopes, wishes, or personal worries. Only one book was illustrated by a person with immigration background; the others were all written and illustrated by Koreans with no immigration background.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.