Daniel ist Hausmann. Felix ist der Junge im Rock. Zur Diversifizierung von ‚Männlichkeit‘ im Bilderbuch

  • Manuela Kalbermatten Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Schlagworte: Bilderbuch, Gender, Masculinity


‘Femininity’ has now over quite a long period been the object of critical debate in children’s literature as well as in children’s literature research. In contrast, ‘masculinity’ – as the unmarked norm – has only infrequently been the subject of closer examination. Meanwhile, though, a rising number of contemporary picture books feature young boys who repudiate hegemonic gender norms and scripts, thereby exposing and negotiating rules and ideals that guide gender performance. In attempting to challenge and diversify ‘masculinity’, however, these books employ very different strategies which the article aims to explore. It is especially concerned with a current tendency in which ‘hybrid masculinities’ are constructed: Rather than deconstruct oppressive gender structures and regulations, many books ultimately perpetuate notions of ‘masculinity’ as a form of individualism and, again, as opposed to ‘femininity’. Drawing on the field of masculinity studies (e.g., Connell, Meuser, Bridges) and children’s literature research (e.g., Wannamaker, Nodelman), the article examines how gender- and heteronormative ascriptions are challenged, but sometimes also obscured and/or perpetuated by these strategies.