Examining representations of young adult female protagonists through critical race feminism

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2 Scopus citations


This article analyses the ways in which the professional literature—by scholars, educators and reviewers—represents young adult female protagonists and approaches sexism. Drawing on critical race feminist theory, the author finds that recommended young adult female protagonists are still overwhelmingly white, middle-class and heterosexual. Despite descriptors such as ‘strong’, ‘gutsy’, ‘feisty’ and ‘independent’, the young adult female protagonists that are recommended today still strive to meet the expectations of a socially conservative and sexist patriarchy. Moreover, the analysed texts usually address sexism only implicitly, if at all. With few exceptions sexism is approached as an individual phenomenon—that is, in isolation from other oppressive factors related to race, class, gender and sexuality. The broader social structures in which sexism is embedded and reproduced are often ignored. The author calls for greater ideological transparency by the contributors to this growing body of work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-374
Number of pages12
JournalChanging English: Studies in Culture and Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Education


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