A Postmodern Argument Against Censorship: Negotiating Gender and Sexual Identity through Canadian Young Adult Novels


  • Meredith Rogers Cherland


Résumé: D'après les théories postmodernes, les gens créent leur propre identité en réagissant aux discours culturels qu'ils doivent subir. Les adolescents canadiens étant ainsi sournis à des discours contradictoires sur la sexualité, il devient done impérieux d'étudier en classe des oeuvres qui contrebalancent ces influences parfois discutables. La lecture de romans de bon aloi, sous la gouverne de professeurs attentifs, pennettra done aux jeunes de définir et d'assumer leur identité sexuelle de façon sereine. Summary: Postmodern theories suggest that meaning is never fixed and constant, and that people are continually creating their own "identities"(their beliefs about themselves, their values, their ways of relating to the world) in interaction with the public and private forms of language which surround them. Canadian teenagers are bombarded by cultural discourses concerning gender, sexuality and violence which may be contradictory, confusing and destructive. Canadian young adult novels studied in school offer alternative discourses which enrich and balance ideas and messages received outside of school. Young people need the freedom to read and study Canadian novels in school in the company of a caring teacher, and in ways which allow them considerable latitude in negotiating and constructing meanings for gender and sexual identity.