Sedighesadat Meghdari, John Stephens


This study aims to investigate the representation of men and women in war children literature in Iran and it tends to show how the kind of representation can influence the children's identity shaping. The study, working through critical discourse analysis, examines ten Persian children’s stories (seven short stories and three longer ones) related to the 1980s Iran-Iraq war and published between 2000 and 2007. This study focused on ‘crying’  as an example and detected  how crying, which is a unique human trait and essential need for a child to survive and the first sign of life, becomes a discriminatory term for women, and as a means to reinforce the unequal power relation scale with a male at the powerful end and a female at the powerless end. The participation of Iranian women in the stories has been neglected and they are either excluded (mostly) or included in passive roles that emphasize their weeping for the ‘martyrs’. So ignoring women and girls and emphasizing boys' and even very young boys' presence in the war stories for children can be harmful in identity shaping for both boys and girls.



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