Children's Literature in Education

, Volume 49, Issue 4, pp 499–515 | Cite as

Harmony, Home and Anthropomorphism: Representation of Minority Nationalities in Contemporary Chinese Ethnic Children’s Literature

  • Chengcheng YouEmail author
Original Paper


Since the 1990s, Chinese ethnic cultures have balanced precariously between a passion for authentically-defined ecology in ethnic territories and a nationwide obsession with economic development, and this affects how ethnicity is represented in Chinese children’s literature. Within a context of growing homogeneity and vanishing minority cultures, this essay investigates contemporary Chinese ethnic animal literature for young adults through the lens of subalternity. Examining key concepts of harmony, home and anthropomorphism facilitates an understanding of how ethnicity and animality are translated into each other in selected children’s stories. A close reading and analysis of the texts reveals how the representation of Chinese ethnicity works through animals on one hand, and ethnic adolescents on the other, and how the ethnic predicament is accentuated by issues of identity, spaces and the assimilationist agenda.


China Ethnicity Subaltern Home Harmony Anthropomorphism 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of TranslationJinan UniversityZhuhaiChina

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