Min granne barndomen, hur var det nu igen? : Om barndomsdiskurser i Min granne Totoro
Sammanfattning: In this study, the Japanese animated film My Neighbor Totoro was analyzed with regards to what childhood discourses can be found in it, and why these discourses in particular appear. To do this, discourse theory was used as the main theoretical basis, and certain aspects of hermeneutics were also used, such as combining the hermeneutic spiral with basic film analysis as a method. The childhood discourses that are discussed are the natural child, adult children and child adults, the competent child, the vulnerable child, postmodern childhood, the lonely/psychological child, and gender discourses. First, the life context of Hayao Miyazaki was examined to see what childhood discourses that might have influenced him. The natural child seems to be the most prominent discourse throughout Miyazaki’s life and his previous work, and the discourse appears in My Neighbor Totoro as well. However, so do all the other discourses. The results are that the view of childhood expressed in the film is that children develop the best in proximity to nature and the divine. Children should aspire to become competent adults, but adults should also come closer to childhood and nature. Postmodernity is dismissed as bad for children, and the natural childhood is deemed to be in need of saving. Children are also according to the film beings capable of complex thoughts and feelings relating to fears, death and family relations. These difficult thoughts are dealt with by their imagination – an imagination that is non-separable from their reality. This could indicate another childhood discourse: the imaginative child. Apart from all this, ways to use films like this one in education are also briefly discussed through film pedagogy.
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