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Title: Portrayal of religions in the contemporary young adult fictions
Authors: Rezanda, Felicia
Keywords: DRNTU::Social sciences::Recreation
DRNTU::Library and information science::Libraries::Acquisition and collection development
Issue Date: 2015
Abstract: Religious harmony has been one of the main goal for countries who are religiously diverse like Singapore. To maintain the peaceful balance, there is a need to cultivate a respectful attitude towards different religions. Children’s and YA literature can be one of the instrument to develop a respectful attitude in our next generation. It can challenge stereotypes or presumptions that young people may have of people from other religions not of their own by portraying each religion in detail and in a real life manner. Besides that, it depicts questions about religion that young people have and may aid readers in their personal journey of faith. This study aims to find out the portrayal of religions in the current contemporary realistic YA fiction. In achieving this objective, we can know if the current YA fictions will be able to help young people answer the questions that they have or whether it will be sufficient to guide them to know more about different religions. Thus, this study will benefit educators or librarians in developing a collection of YA literature that deals with religion. As most YA fictions available in the international market come from the US, this study will limit its scope on YA fictions in English language that was published in the US between 2001- 2013. Because of that, this study will be able to show the current trends/ views in US regarding religions. A selective non-probabilistic sampling was performed to pick YA fictions that deal with religion from The YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adult list. This sampling yielded 26 books. They were analyzed using a coding framework that was developed to address the following research parameters: diversity of religion, level of detail, level of spirituality, common setting, common theme, and overall description of religion and its people. Based on the analysis, it was found that the selected YA fictions mostly provide sufficient details for the readers to know more about certain religion and its believers. More than half of the books also discussed deeper on the meaning of faith. Although there are numerous books depicting Christianity, Islam, and Jewish religion, there seems to be a lack of literature about religions that were a minority in the US such as Hinduism, Buddhism, or Sikhism. It should be noted that most books about Islam seldom depict the Muslim community in the US. Besides that, there seems to be a tendency for negative portrayal of the major organized religions in the US (e.g., Christianity and Jewish religion) as a group while certain individual believers were portrayed in a more positive way focusing on the personal relationship between the character and his/her religion. A decent collection of YA fictions about religion may be developed if collection developers focus on level of detail and diversity. In addition, if the collection’s purpose is not only to give information but also to help readers in their journey of faith, level of spirituality might be useful as further criteria.
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:WKWSCI Theses

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