Beverly Lyon Clark
The term â€œaudienceâ€ has only relatively recently come
to acquire its dominant modern meaning, referring to
the viewers of an entertainment or readers of a book.
The earliest such usage listed in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) dates to 1855. Earlier meanings include
â€œ[t]he action of hearingâ€ (dating from c. 1374) and a
â€œ[f]ormal hearing,â€ often with royalty or with a judge
(from 1377). Derived from the Latin audire, to hear, the
term has a special resonance for childrenâ€™s literature,
for the youngest children are not readers but rather auditors of literature, truly an audience. Indeed the broad
term â€œaudienceâ€ better captures the many ways in
which children consume literatureâ€”and other aspects
of cultureâ€”than does â€œreader,â€ the generally preferred
term in literary criticism.
Raymond Williams (1976/1983a) did not include
â€œaudienceâ€ in his Keywords. The term does receive an
entry in New Keywords, edited by Tony Bennett, Lawrence Grossberg, and Meaghan Morris (2005), though
David Morleyâ€™s account focuses almost entirely on the
audience for mass media, especially addressing the extent to which such an audience is passively susceptible
or actively shapes the messages received. This question
of agency has been central to examinations of childrenâ€™s culture, broadly considered. Given that most
scholars condescend to children, assuming them to be
passive and hence mere pawns, a popular approach in
cultural criticism has been to castigate the media, arguing that our children must be protected from its effects.
Since at least 1965, when the librarian Frances Clarke
Sayers fired a salvo (Sayers and Weisenberg 1965)â€”and
perhaps even from 1938, when Anne Carroll Moore expressed her concernâ€”critics have deplored how reductive and saccharine Disney products are, for instance.
Yet a few cultural critics, such as Ellen Seiter (1993)
and Gerard Jones (2002), highlight some of the ways
in which children respond actively, perhaps reshaping what they see on television and elsewhere or using
comic books to mitigate anxieties. Similarly, an extensive literature attends to the numerous uses of Barbie,
that icon of modern childrenâ€™s cultureâ€”even if the
most radical uses (Barbie as dildo) are often associated
with adults (Rand 1995).
My focus here, however, is on â€œaudienceâ€ with respect not to popular culture but to literature. The concept has a special salience for childrenâ€™s literature, beyond the root associations with the auditory, for this
literature is not by children, as the possessive might
conceivably imply, but rather literature read by or to
them: it is defined by its audience. Yet how exactly
audience defines it is subject to debate. Scholars disagree, for instance, as to whether it is defined by being intended for children (e.g., Nodelman 2008b) or is
simply literature that they read (e.g., Lerer 2008). Does
a book appropriated by children, such as Robinson Crusoe (Defoe 1719), count? Do books that a publisher markets for children count, even if an author didnâ€™t have
Copyright 2011. NYU Press.
All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except fair uses permitted under U.S. or applicable copyright law.
EBSCO Publishing : eBook Collection (EBSCOhost) – printed on 8/20/2020 5:10 PM via SAN DIEGO STATE UNIV
AN: 379198 ; Paul, Lissa, Nel, Philip.; Keywords for Childrens Literature
Audience Beverly Lyon Clark
such an audience in mind while writing? Scholars also
disagree whether to focus more on the â€œbookâ€ or the
â€œchildâ€ in their judgments, but even the â€œbookâ€ people
cannot altogether forget the target audience: â€œNaturally a knowledge of and sympathy with children is
. . . vital,â€ notes Brian Alderson in â€œThe Irrelevance of
Children to the Childrenâ€™s Book Reviewerâ€ (quoted in
Beyond debates within the field, the study of childrenâ€™s literature raises intriguing theoretical questions
of broader interest that are too often missed by mainstream literary theorists, who generally ignore childrenâ€™s literature. However well Stanley Fishâ€™s (1980)
concept of an â€œinterpretive communityâ€ might work
for adult readers, how does one define such a community for childrenâ€™s literature? Where might one find an
interpretive community purely of children? As Deborah Stevenson (1997) notes, â€œThe best child readers rise
longitudinally [to a different reading level] rather than
exerting power latitudinally, which means that there
are no child gatekeepers of the canon.â€
Childrenâ€™s literature also points to the multiplicity
of address of literatureâ€”necessarily so, given that no
other literature so thoroughly excludes the intended
audience from the various aspects of production. Very
few young people have written, edited, published, or
sold books. And relatively few children directly buy
them; even if a smaller proportion of childrenâ€™s book
sales are now to libraries than was the case in the
1960s, librarians, teachers, and parents are still the
primary buyers (Stevenson 1997). The result, as Zohar
Shavit (1986) and others have noted, is that childrenâ€™s
literature always has at least a double address: the children who are the ostensible audience and the adults
whose decisions make it available. Given that the decision makers are not part of the ostensible audience,
the nature of childrenâ€™s literature very much depends
on how adults construct childhood and children.
Indeed, Jacqueline Rose (1984) would argue that it is
impossible for adults truly to know childrenâ€”rather,
they are always constructing them. If adults construct
children as beings to be molded for the future, then
childrenâ€™s literature may be conceived as an important
part of this moldingâ€”and therefore as necessarily didactic and needing to be monitored or censored. Others, following a Romantic construction of childhood,
feel that childrenâ€™s literature should provide wings for
the imagination. Yet maybe we should not lose sight
of the fact that children are not just passive; they can
be active agents too, constructing what they readâ€”and
For children are real, too. A focus on the duality of
the audience may, in fact, occlude its multiplicities,
masking the heterogeneity of children. Who exactly
comprises the target audience for childrenâ€™s literature? Some scholars study the kinds of address created
within a work, the narratee or the implied reader (Wall
1991/1994); others examine the reading processes of
actual child readers (Benton 1995/2005). Children
differ among themselvesâ€”by age, for example. When
does childhood end? Is the audience made up only of
those under the age of, say, twelve, or does it include
EBSCOhost – printed on 8/20/2020 5:10 PM via SAN DIEGO STATE UNIV. All use subject to https://www.ebsco.com/terms-of-use
Audience Beverly Lyon Clark
adolescents? But children also differ by gender, race,
class, nationality. Focus on â€œthe childâ€ as audience too
often misses the real differences among children.
In any case, what we now consider to be childrenâ€™s
literature arose through early market segmentation.
Literature for children wasnâ€™t always separated from literature for adults. Early literature in the Westâ€”mystery
plays, ballads, folk tales, sermonsâ€”embraced children
as part of its audience. Even later, literature for children long overlapped with that for the laboring and
later working classes: children often read chapbooks,
evangelical tracts, and dime novels. What is often considered childrenâ€™s literature per seâ€”an imaginative literature directly targeting childrenâ€”is generally seen
as arising in the eighteenth century, along with the
middle class, whether or not one dates the first work of
Anglophone childrenâ€™s literature precisely to 1744 with
A Little Pretty Pocket-Book, published by John Newbery
(Darton 1932/1982). For most of the nineteenth century, nevertheless, writers and their gatekeepers often
assumed they should publish nothing â€œthat could not
be read aloud in the family circle,â€ to quote an editor
of Harperâ€™s Monthly in the 1890s (Mott 1938): they assumed that the young would be part of the general
readership. And works that ostensibly targeted children, and which subsequent readers have classified as
childrenâ€™s literature, were often read by adults as wellâ€”
not just in the company of children, as now with a bedtime story, but independently.
In the United States, boy booksâ€”most of which
we would now consider childrenâ€™s literatureâ€”were
for young and old, and juvenile domestic stories were
not clearly separated from ones for a more mature audience. Little Women (Alcott 1868â€“69) was enjoyed by
â€œ[g]rave merchants and lawyers,â€ â€œclerks,â€ â€œthe civil
engineer,â€ â€œthe boy in the elevatorâ€ (Stearns 1895). In
the nineteenth century, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Twain 1876) and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
(Twain 1884) were seen as equivalent books, usually
mentioned in the same breath; only in the twentieth
century did Tom Sawyer devolve into a childrenâ€™s book
and Huckleberry Finn ascend to hypercanonicity, to use
Jonathan Aracâ€™s term (1997), as a prime candidate for
the great American novel (Clark 2003).
I use â€œdevolveâ€ advisedly. Late in the nineteenth
and especially early in the twentieth centuries the
canons of taste changed. As the cultural gatekeepers
shifted from the likes of magazine editors to the professoriate, and Herman Melvilleâ€™s star, for one, ascended,
only works (especially those by white men) seen as
targeting an adult audience came to be seen as worthy
of the highest approbation. Childrenâ€™s literature came
to be seen as inferior. If, in 1893, â€œThe Best American
Books,â€ published in the literary journal The Critic, included Little Women and Little Lord Fauntleroy (Burnett
1886) among its top forty, twentieth-century lists of important books rarely included works we now classify as
In the twentieth century, the academy did not provide a friendly audience for childrenâ€™s literature. Now,
however, as academic departments devote courses
and programs to childrenâ€™s literature, as books such as
EBSCOhost – printed on 8/20/2020 5:10 PM via SAN DIEGO STATE UNIV. All use subject to https://www.ebsco.com/terms-of-use
[ 17 ]
those in the Harry Potter series have reached a crossover audience, as publishers seem to welcome such
crossovers (Beckett 2009)â€”and, indeed, as books such
as Keywords for Childrenâ€™s Literature are publishedâ€”
change would seem to be afoot.
The Oxford English Dictionaryâ€™s (OED) definition of
â€œbodyâ€â€”â€the material frame of man (and animals)â€â€”
immediately sets before us one of the termâ€™s principal
controversies in childrenâ€™s literature. That is, what Peter Hunt (1984) would call the adultist, not to mention
the sexist, nature of the OEDâ€™s language reminds us
that the matter of the corporeal is often not deemed
proper for the consideration of children and is frequently bound up with questions of gender and the
adult body. But when we consider the OEDâ€™s elaboration on this definitionâ€”â€œthe material body and its
propertiesâ€â€”the physical nature of the human body
becomes more clearly a matter of interest and importance to the study of childrenâ€™s literature and culture.
David Macaulayâ€™s picture book The Way We Work: Getting to Know the Amazing Human Body (2008) describes
the parts of the body and its functions. The American
Girl Just Like YouÂ® doll comes made to order with â€œhair
and eye colorâ€ and â€œskin toneâ€ â€œto matchâ€ the girl who
buys her. And the Cookie Monster describes his new
healthy eating habits in his â€œHealthy Foodâ€ rap, part of
Sesame Streetâ€™s new â€œHealthy Habits for Lifeâ€ initiative.
As just these few examples suggest, childrenâ€™s culture
reveals an overwhelming interest in describing, depicting, and reproducing images of the body in order to
educate, orient, and delight the child consumer.
EBSCOhost – printed on 8/20/2020 5:10 PM via SAN DIEGO STATE UNIV. All use subject to https://www.ebsco.com/terms-of-use
Any academic writer who wishes to join our team of professional writers must possess all the following qualities:
To write an exemplary academic paper, you must have good critical thinking skills, possess the proper knowledge of the discipline, and be knowledgeable about applying an academic writing style.
As such we have a rigorous recruitment process. We only collaborate with professional academic writers. We believe in offering the highest quality academic writing services. Our writers pass various grammar and academic writing tests. They have to provide documents about their personal information and credentials to prove their level of expertise.
As a result, our clients receive papers that are thoroughly-researched, properly cited, and written within academic standards. We are proud that any academic writer from our writer's team can complete the paper at a high standard.
We work with the student’s budget because we know that students are usually on a budget majority of the time. We do not compromise on quality because of low prices. On the contrary, we love to foster a good relationship with our clients. That is why we charge our clients reasonable prices, and we are willing to negotiate and work with their budget.
It may be quite disturbing to decide whether to hire an academic writing company. We care about our client’s privacy and confidentiality. We never disclose your information to third parties. We never publish your paper online. You can use our academic writing service without any fear or anxiety.
Many students struggle with writing academic papers. Some barely have time to do their assignments because of their job and family responsibilities. Others have difficulty applying critical thinking skills or meeting time or assignment requirements. Whatever the reason is, you can always have time to do the things you love and other important things. All you need is a reliable and quality academic writing service. Unfortunately, even if you strongly desire to write the paper yourself, you sometimes face unexpected challenges. As we all know, life is unpredictable! Your teacher may be unconcerned about helping students and may not answer your questions. The good news is that there is a way out! You can hire an online academic writer to help you with your assignments. All you need to do is stipulate your paper requirements in the order form, and you can spend your time as you like.
Our company commits towards delivering high-quality custom papers to our clients. We seek to offer reliable essay writing services to our customers in various subject areas. Our customers are very valuable to us. As such, we commit to ensuring that they derive the utmost satisfaction from the essays we deliver. We have a mission to promote our clients' educational and professional lives by providing high-quality essays for their use. We also have a mission to offer a convenient essay writing system where our customers can easily order and pay for the services. We value quality and professionalism in our company.
We write papers on any subject area, and we also write various types of papers for various purposes. We have a team of able writers who are eager to help our customers with writing services of exceptional quality. We offer custom writing services for customers across the globe and charge affordable prices for our services. We are the best essay writing company offering personalized services to all our customers. We ensure our customers receive maximum satisfaction from the essays we deliver. Our website is the place to be if you are seeking high-quality essays.
By using our academic writing service, we match your paper subject with a writer with a degree in the subject. The writer is able to apply their skills, knowledge, and expertise to the paper. You receive an original, unique, well-research paper, properly cited and formatted. As such, you are assured of a high-quality paper.
Truth be told, writing assignments can be stressful and difficult for any student. There is no shame in getting academic writing help. When you search the term “get academic writing help” there are numerous sites that pop up on the results and our website is among them. So, why is it a great idea to choose us?
During your course, your instructor will assign various types of homework. Our academic writers can prepare essays, presentations, speeches, case studies, research papers, dissertations, thesis papers, and more. Our writer’s department is capable of tackling any assignment of any complexity easily. All you need is to give us detailed instructions to help our experts understand the task.After doing so, you can rest assured that everything is in control, and we will deliver a paper of unmatchable quality.
Are you a college or university student pursuing your Bachelor’s , Masters, PhD, or Doctorate degree? Sometimes juggling schoolwork with work, family and hobbies can seem like a daunting task. You have to sacrifice one or the other. The sole purpose of our website is to alleviate your academic burdens. We ensure that you do not fail in your classes and you get good grades consistently. We understand that there is a need for academic help.
We acknowledge that our clients are not dumb or lazy but only need academic life need help in order to live a balanced life and make ends meet. We make it our core priority to ensure that all assignments are done and submitted before the stipulated deadlines. All our writers are graduates. They are competent in handling the clients’ assignments. We step in to help you with any and all of your assignments. Our assignment help service ensures that you never miss a grade or deadline.
Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.
Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.
While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.
Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.
In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.
Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.
We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!
We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.
Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.
Our prices depend on the urgency of your assignment, your academic level, the course subject, and the length of the assignment. Basically, more complex assignments will cost more than simpler ones. The level of expertise is also a major determinant of the price of your assignment.
If you need professional help with completing any kind of homework, is the right place to get it. Whether you are looking for essay, coursework, research, or term paper help, or with any other assignments, it is no problem for us. At our cheap essay writing service, you can be sure to get credible academic aid for a reasonable price, as the name of our website suggests. For years, we have been providing online custom writing assistance to students from countries all over the world, including the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, Italy, New Zealand, China, and Japan.
Our cheap essay writing service has already gained a positive reputation in this business field. Understandably so, since all custom papers produced by our academic writers are individually crafted from scratch and written according to all your instructions and requirements. We offer APA, MLA, or a Chicago style paper in almost 70 disciplines. Here, you can get quality custom essays, as well as a dissertation, a research paper, or term papers for sale. Any paper will be written on time for a cheap price.
Using our cheap essay writing help is beneficial not only because of its easy access and low cost, but because of how helpful it can be to your studies. Buy custom written papers online from our academic company and we won't disappoint you with our high quality of university, college, and high school papers. Although our writing service is one of the cheapest you can find, we have been in the business long enough to learn how to maintain a balance between quality, wages, and profit. Whenever you need help with your assignment, we will be happy to assist you.
It might seem impossible to you that all custom-written essays, research papers, speeches, book reviews, and other custom task completed by our writers are both of high quality and cheap. It is surprising, but we do have some tricks to lower prices without hindering quality.
To start using our services, it’s enough to place a request like “I need a writer to do my assignment” or “Please, write an essay for me.” We have a convenient order form, which you can complete within minutes and pay for the order via a secure payment system. The support team will view it after the order form and payment is complete and then they will find an academic writer who matches your order description perfectly. Once you submit your instructions, while your order is in progress and even after its completion, our support team will monitor it to provide you with timely assistance.
Hiring good writers is one of the key points in providing high-quality services. That’s why we have entry tests for all applicants who want to work for us. We try to make sure all writers working for us are professionals, so when you purchase custom-written papers, they are of high quality and non-plagiarized.
Our cheap essay writing service employs only writers who have outstanding writing skills. The quality of all custom papers written by our team is important to us; that is why we are so attentive to the application process and employ only those writers who can produce great essays and other kinds of written assignments. All our writers are graduates. They are competent in handling the clients’ assignments. We step in to help you with any and all of your assignments. Our assignment help service ensures that you never miss a grade or deadline.
All our cheap essays are customized to meet your requirements and written from scratch. Our writers have a lot of experience with academic papers and know how to write them without plagiarism. Moreover, at our academic service, we have our own plagiarism-detection software which is designed to find similarities between completed papers and online sources. You can be sure that our custom-written papers are original and properly cited.
Our essay writing service has a 0% plagiarism tolerance. We are well aware of the dangers of plagiarism. Plagiarism is academic suicide. Our essay writing service ensures that all papers are original. We do not sell pre-written papers. All papers are written from scratch as per the instructions. We pass our papers through powerful anti-plagiarism software such as SafeAssign and TurnItIn.
Our cheap essay writing service tries to always be at its best performance level, so each customer who pays money for paper writing can be sure that he or she will get what is wanted. On the off chance that you don’t like your order, you can request a refund and we will return the money according to our money-back guarantee.
There can be a number of reasons why you might not like your order. If we honestly don’t meet your expectations, we will issue a refund. You can also request a free revision, if there are only slight inconsistencies in your order. Your writer will make the necessary amendments free of charge. You can find out more information by visiting our revision policy and money-back guarantee pages, or by contacting our support team via online chat or phone.
We know how important any deadline is to you; that’s why everyone in our company has their tasks and perform them promptly to provide you with the required assistance on time. We even have an urgent delivery option for short essays, term papers, or research papers needed within 8 to 24 hours.
We appreciate that you have chosen our cheap essay service, and will provide you with high-quality and low-cost custom essays, research papers, term papers, speeches, book reports, and other academic assignments for sale. We beat all deadlines. We can also handle urgent orders with deadlines as short as 1 hour. Our urgent paper writing service does not compromise on quality due to the short deadline. On the contrary, our essay writers have a lot of experience which comes in handy in such situations.
We provide affordable writing services for students around the world. That’s why we work without a break to help you at any time, wherever you are located. Contact us for cheap writing assistance. Our impeccable customer support team will answer all your questions and help you out with any issues.Proceed to order page
Delivering a high-quality product at a reasonable price is not enough anymore.
That’s why we have developed 5 beneficial guarantees that will make your experience with our service enjoyable, easy, and safe.
You have to be 100% sure of the quality of your product to give a money-back guarantee. This describes us perfectly. Make sure that this guarantee is totally transparent.Read more
Each paper is composed from scratch, according to your instructions. It is then checked by our plagiarism-detection software. There is no gap where plagiarism could squeeze in.Read more
Thanks to our free revisions, there is no way for you to be unsatisfied. We will work on your paper until you are completely happy with the result.Read more
Your email is safe, as we store it according to international data protection rules. Your bank details are secure, as we use only reliable payment systems.Read more
By sending us your money, you buy the service we provide. Check out our terms and conditions if you prefer business talks to be laid out in official language.Read more