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Title: Representations of Poverty in Contemporary Swedish Picture Books
This article explores nine Swedish children’s picture books that portray children and other people living in poverty. The aim is to scrutinize the discursive and aesthetical practices that construct the literary image of poverty, poor people, and their relationship to society and each other. The article shows that the Swedish picture book participates in recent debates on child poverty and begging EU citizens. The representations of social inequality include both depictions of poor children and of children meeting socially excluded people, such as beggars. The depictions are located in between discourses on poverty, children, and children’s rights. Inequality is, on the one hand, represented by a lack of material resources, such as new rubber boots or expensive fruit, and on the other, by adults begging in the street. The aesthetics of the picture book format is utilized in a productive way, encouraging readers to reflect on questions of poverty, power, and solidarity.
Authors contributing to Barnboken: Journal of Children's Literature Research agree to publish their articles under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported, allowing third parties to share their work (copy, distribute, transmit) and to adapt it, under the condition that the authors are given credit, that the work is not used for commercial purposes, and that in the event of reuse or distribution, the terms of this license are made clear.
Authors retain copyright of their work, with first publication rights granted to the Swedish Institute for Children's Books.