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This essay examines the academic institutionalization and the affiliated professionalization of children's literature. A sociological analysis of this area is attempted, with the larger context of academic enquiry and associated professionalism in our world in mind, and with an awareness of the ideological imperatives implicit therein. Three directions are explored to assess the current position of children's literature. These are: children's literature as a grouping of professional interests; children's literature as part of the academic discipline of literature in institutional terms; and the institutionalization of children's literature within the broad dynamic of social systems.