Död och sorg i barnsagor. En explorativ litteraturstudie

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Lunds universitet/Socialhögskolan

Sammanfattning: Death and grief in fairytales. An exploratory literature study The aim of this study was to examine how death and grief is portrayed in fariy tales and how we can understand these stories from a therapeutic purpose. Our main questions were: What general norms are conveyed in the fairytales? What norms on grief and death are produced in these stories? What would these stories convey if they were to be used for therapeutic purposes? We studied six children's books to investigate how death is described based on the assumption that literature can have a therapeutic effect and from Foucault and Rose’s theories of discipline and control. We divided the books into three different age groups and chose books that described the death of a parent. In order to analyze the fairytales and find underlying themes and meanings behind the stories we used narrative analysis. We selected different standpoints based on our theories, from which we coded our material. There are different ways of looking at the use of literature in therapy. From a psychological basis the reading of book can help clients with healing and to process grief. A sociological point of view consider it as a way to control and discipline. Rose also describe how psychologists control people through their elaborated criteria of normality. The result of this study shows that several of the books contain disciplinary and educational elements and reflect norms that exist in society. The description of how grief is managed depends both upon external factors, such as exhortations from adults, as well as internal aspects of the individual himself. Normality and the desire to be liked by everyone else are also described in the books. One conclusion to be drawn from this study is the subconscious influence of text. Examples of this is the conscious and subconscious representations of the views on children, grieving process, standards of society and gender roles, which are identified in the fairytales we have analyzed. How death and grief is described in the books is affected by the context in which the book is written.

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