DECONSTRUCTING GENDER - How to Teach Gender and Feminist Pedagogy using Stephenie Meyer's Life and Death in the EFL classroom
Research done by The Swedish National Agency for Education shows students being treated and assessed differently. Various demands and expectations are placed on them based on their gender. Schools thus have a responsibility and a duty to counterbalance conventional and stereotypical gender patterns. The aim of this essay is to show how teaching from a gender and a feminist perspective could be achieved with the use of literature in the EFL classroom. The thesis claim of this essay is that Stephenie Meyer's novels Life and Death and Twilight can be used beneficially as resources as a way of bringing gender awareness and the issue of gender roles and their representation in young adult literature. Life and Death is a reimagination of the original novel, Twilight, where most of the characters have swapped genders. Fundamental aspects of gender and feminist pedagogy are a focus on gender and for both teachers and students to obtain new knowledge and for their thinking to shift in new directions. With the gender swap, Life and Death offers the world of Twilight in where changes have been made in regard to power structures featured in the novel, gender roles and what is considered masculine versus feminine. It could therefore be argued that a combination of the two novels are well suited to use as a starting point for gender-conscious discussions. This essay contains a literary and didactic analysis of Meyer’s novels, as well as suggested examples of gender-conscious exercises perspective for the EFL classroom, which can complement the reading.
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