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NURSERY RHYMES: Literature review

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Nursery rhymes play an important role in a child’s life these are not merely meant for fun but have massive educational value and importance in learning in early age. Galway, E.(2008) viewed Nursery rhymes being part of children’s literature is a tool for amusing and enlightening and often explicitly address basic political, economic and social concerns. Maclean, Morag. (July 1987) viewed nursery rhymes, rhyming games and rhyming jingles as part of children typically three to four years. P. E. Bryant (2009) et al. Stated that nursery rhymes are significant part young children and there is a link between nursery rhymes and early knowledge. Nursery rhymes are not mere linguistic matter these carry cultural social and ideological views. Goins (2007) argued that even simple nursery rhymes provide a powerful medium to formulate impressions, ideologies, and images.

Ra’ed Awad Al-Ramahi, R. (2013) indicate the idea that nursery rhymes are full of an enormous quantity of sexist language and this sexism is the result of implicit ideological beliefs in gender stereotypes. Mushtaq, K.(2012) argued that characters present in nursery rhymes modeled on people with whom we may associate or idealize, there are examples of girls and boys through which it is supposedly what and how they should be. McClure(1999) claim that the rhymes having stereotypes and labels that we learn as a child affects a person emotionally as well as psychologically and language is a primary source that perpetuates stereotypes. He further discusses that not only girls but boys as well are limited by gender stereotypes. Peksen (2013) states that gender roles are imposed on children through external sources that are children literature, media, their friends and their parents. Jabeen(2012) stated Family, media, friends, schools and religious institutes are the key causes of gender socialization. School, especially, is a major source to inculcate gender identity and stereotypes in a child’s mind. (Giddens, 2006) stated social constructions have developed the biological differences between males and females into stereotypical gender roles. These gender roles differ according to the cultural variations of a society and are deeply rooted in the social structure of society. Social institutions validate these stereotyped practices.

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METHODOLOGY: The purpose of the study is to explore stereotyped gender roles represented in selected nursery rhymes in Twinkling Tunes and to investigate if any sexism ar gender dominance is portrayed through linguistic expressions and pictorial illustrations. The study is based on qualitative paradigm within which data will be analyzed through textual analysis of secondary data. The selected nursery rhymes are from Shabnam Riaz‘s Twinkling Tunes(2006). For this reason, five rhymes from Shabnam Riaz’s Twinkling Tunes (2006) have been selected for analysis. The selected text will be analyzed through the lens of gender schema theory proposed by Sandra Bem in 1981 and later expanded by Carol Martin and Charles Halverson in 1983. It states individual become gendered in society, core gender identity is influenced by a child’s education, media, institutions and other forms of cultural transmissions. Selected poems from Twinkling Tunes will be analyzed through Sandra Bem’s gender schema theory as it explains text well. The data will be divided into

1) Pectoral illustrations

2) Character Analysis.

The former category is based on an analysis of gendered stereotypes in characters and in later category common gendered stereotypes in pictorial illustrations will be analyzed.


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