Beyond Pug's Tour: National and Ethnic Stereotyping in Theory and Literary Practice

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C. C. Barfoot
Rodopi, 1997 - Literary Criticism - 594 pages
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At a time when the world, Europe especially, is once more threatened by murderous conflicts between groups of people claiming ethnic and national identity as a basis for sovereignty over specific territories, it is timely to consider the part that literature has played and is playing in the creation of ethnic and national stereotypes. What role do such stereotypes have in literature? How are they created? From what materials are they constructed? What purpose do ethnic and national stereotypes serve? Can it ever be a useful one? Are they avoidable? Can we live without them? What can be done about the deleterious effects they may be thought to produce? Stereotyping is worldwide -- is there a tribe, race and nation in existence which escapes being stereotyped by its neighbours? In what sense are these stereotypes accurate? How are these stereotypes reflected in and reinforced by literature? Should and can literature do anything about them? In Beyond Pug's Tour: National and Ethnic Stereotyping in Theory and Literary Practice, literary scholars, as well as academics engaged in sociological and psychological research, consider these and other questions by examining the work of specific authors and the circumstances in which stereotyping plays such a crucial part.

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