The Change in the Depiction of Alaskan Natives in Childrens Fiction over Time.Report as inadecuate

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This study used content analysis to investigate the change, over time, in the depiction of Alaskan natives in children's fiction. The analysis was based on four broad categories: (1) physical traits, including physical features and types of clothing; (2) social traits, including language fluency, family associations, amount of formal education, types of occupations, and relationships with non-Alaskan natives; (3) cultural traits, including kinds of foods, types of tools and utensils, means of transportation, types of dwellings, and predominant social concern; and (4) story elements, including book genre, age and sex of the main character, setting, and predominant theme. The sample included 79 children's picture books and chapter books published between 1902 and 1994. Results showed that Alaskan natives were most frequently represented as dark-haired, dark-eyed Eskimos wearing fur coats and boots, who lived with their families in the wilderness and traveled by dogsled. The majority of the characters were shown living a traditional subsistence lifestyle, using traditional tools and utensils, and eating traditional foods. Each of the three native groups--Aleuts, Eskimos, and Indians--were represented, though not in proportion to the population. Two appendices contain the coding sheet and 34 data tables. (Contains 35 references.) (DLS)

Descriptors: Adolescent Literature, Alaska Natives, American Indians, Change, Characterization, Childrens Literature, Content Analysis, Cultural Traits, Eskimos, Ethnic Stereotypes, Fiction, Illustrations, Individual Characteristics, Picture Books, Regional Characteristics, Social Characteristics, Tables (Data)

Author: Epps, Dorothy Anne


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