Intergenerational Solidarity in Children’s Literature and Film
An examination of the diverse ways in which children’s literature and film contribute to intergenerational bonding and solidarity
Contributions by Aneesh Barai, Clémentine Beauvais, Justyna Deszcz-Tryhubczak, Terri Doughty, Aneta Dybska, Blanka Grzegorczyk, Zoe Jaques, Vanessa Joosen, Maria Nikolajeva, Marek Oziewicz, Ashley N. Reese, Malini Roy, Sabine Steels, Lucy Stone, Björn Sundmark, Michelle Superle, Nozomi Uematsu, Anastasia Ulanowicz, Helma van Lierop-Debrauwer, and Jean Webb
Intergenerational solidarity is a vital element of societal relationships that ensures survival of humanity. It connects generations, fostering transfer of common values, cumulative knowledge, experience, and culture essential to human development. In the face of global aging, changing family structures, family separations, economic insecurity, and political trends pitting young and old against each other, intergenerational solidarity is now, more than ever, a pressing need.
Intergenerational Solidarity in Children’s Literature and Film argues that productions for young audiences can stimulate intellectual and emotional connections between generations by representing intergenerational solidarity. For example, one essayist focuses on Disney films, which have shown a long-time commitment to variously highlighting, and then conservatively healing, fissures between generations. However, Disney-Pixar’s Up and Coco instead portray intergenerational alliances—young collaborating with old, the living working alongside the dead—as necessary to achieving goals.
The collection also testifies to the cultural, social, and political significance of children’s culture in the development of generational intelligence and empathy towards age-others and positions the field of children’s literature studies as a site of intergenerational solidarity, opening possibilities for a new socially consequential inquiry into the culture of childhood.
"Intergenerational Solidarity in Children’s Literature and Film significantly intervenes in conversations about adult-child relationships in important ways, making an optimistic and hopeful case for the instrumentality of children’s culture as a response to social and cultural conditions that threaten to alienate generations. The rich international context provides a valuable example in how to continue to move toward a more global understanding of the fields of children’s literature and childhood studies. "- Victoria Ford Smith, author of Between Generations: Collaborative Authorship in the Golden Age of Children's Literature
"The range of topics in Intergenerational Solidarity in Children’s Literature and Film is very impressive indeed, and the distribution of essays across five sections—historical perspectives, alliances in contemporary narratives, intergenerational memory, intergenerational projects, and intergenerational collaboration/coauthorship—constitutes an excellent structure incorporating innovative and fascinating projects. "- John Stephens, emeritus professor in English, Macquarie University