Hidden Adult, in Literature

The term ‘the hidden adult’ was coined by Perry Nodelman through his navigations of the debate surrounding the definition of children’s literature by analysing the adult presence in the field, concluding that all children’s literature is inevitably shaped and created by adults. Since his seminal work, The Hidden Adult: Defining Children’s Literature (2008), the term ‘the hidden adult’ in children’s literature scholarship is used to refer to the pedagogical function, didactic nature, adult agency, or ideology in a children’s text. Specifically, it refers to the adult influence in the creation of children’s literature, in terms of structure, content, and ideological messages. Therefore, the term ‘adult’ does not refer to actual authors or readers, rather, it refers to the implied figure of the ‘Adult’ that permeates ...

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