Publication Date

April 2018

Advisor(s)

Jonathan Cutler

Major

Sociology

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

Young adult fiction, while a genre known for its nebulous definition and controversial portrayals of complex adolescent life, is mostly white and straight. This homogenous identity makeup extends from the representations in the texts to the authors writing the novels. Marginalized members of the YA community have long been asking for equal representation, and in 2014 these demands grew into a full-blown movement that was embraced by the industry and the established YA authors. But what does writing diversity in YA fiction mean? This thesis explores this question by conducting in-depth analyses of ?diverse? YA fiction novels. Chapter one questions the problematic and centrist nature of the language of diversity. Chapter two takes note of which ?diversity? novels are being criticized and which are being celebrated. Chapter three asks which authors are receiving support in the writing of diversity and which are being pushed to the side. Ultimately, this thesis follows the intricate and ever-developing events of YA fiction?s diversity movement to ask whether the resulting YA genre will be something new or something recognizable.

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