Cruel Children in Popular Texts and Cultures

  • Monica Flegel
  • Christopher Parkes

Part of the Critical Approaches to Children's Literature book series (CRACL)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Monica Flegel, Christopher Parkes
    Pages 1-14
  3. Early Exemplars of the Cruel Child

  4. Bullying and Its Uses

  5. Child Killers and Child Victims

  6. Cruelty and Child Agency

  7. Back Matter
    Pages 299-312

About this book


This book explores how alarmist social discourses about 'cruel' young people fail to recognize the complexity of cruelty and the role it plays in child agency. Examining representations of cruel young people in popular texts and popular culture, the collected essays demonstrate how gender, race, and class influence who gets labeled 'cruel' and which actions are viewed as negative, aggressive, and disruptive. It shows how representations of cruel young people negotiate the violence that shadows polite society, and how narratives of cruelty and aggression are used to affirm, or to deny, young people’s agency.


Bullying Gender Race Class Schools

Editors and affiliations

  • Monica Flegel
    • 1
  • Christopher Parkes
    • 2
  1. 1.Lakehead UniversityThunder BayCanada
  2. 2.Lakehead UniversityThunder BayCanada

Bibliographic information