doctoral thesis
The Family in Contemporary English Language Fiction 1980-2008

Ljubica Matek (2012)
Sveučilište Josipa Jurja Strossmayera u Osijeku
Filozofski fakultet
Metadata
TitleThe Family in Contemporary English Language Fiction 1980-2008
AuthorLjubica Matek
Mentor(s)Robert Sullivan
Abstract
The aim of this thesisis to examine representations of family in contemporary English-language fiction and explain what impact the social, economic and ideological changes have on the family. So far, the term “family” has implied a very specific type of family: the traditional nuclear family. However, the analysis of the selected literary texts written in the period from 1980 to 2008 has shown that literary families are varied which points to the need to redefine the concept of family. The thesis identifies five types of families as they appear in contemporary fiction: 1) the traditional nuclear family, 2) the single parent family, 3) the childless family, 4) the homosexual family, and 5) the metaphorical family. Each of the “new” families challenges at least one of the defining notions of the traditional nuclear family, for example the importance of blood ties, heterosexuality, patriarchal hierarchy, or even procreation. Through the voices of their protagonists, contemporary authors remind us that actual – psychological and emotional – family ties are created when there is mutual love and the feelings of permanent trust and safety among the family members. Consequently, matters of sex, gender and blood ties turn out to be of secondary importance. While no single formal arrangement can guarantee the protagonists’ family happiness, the feelings of commitment and acceptance always do. In other words, contemporary authors insist on representations of different kinds of families, not because the form is important, but to show that family is not a locus of residence, but of meaning and relationships.
Parallel title (Croatian)Obitelj u suvremenoj prozi engleskog govornog područja 1980.–2008.
Committee MembersBorislav Berić (committee chairperson)
Sanja Runtić (committee member)
GranterSveučilište Josipa Jurja Strossmayera u Osijeku
Filozofski fakultet
PlaceOsijek
StateCroatia
Scientific field, discipline, subdisciplineHUMANISTIC SCIENCES
Philology
Theory and History of Literature
UDK82
LANGUAGE. LINGUISTICS. LITERATURE
Literature. Comparative literature
821.111
LANGUAGE. LINGUISTICS. LITERATURE
English literature
Study programme typeuniversity
Study levelpostgraduate
Study programmeLiterature and Cultural Identity
Academic title abbreviationdr. sc.
Genredoctoral thesis
Language English
Defense date2012-10-12
Parallel abstract (Croatian)
Disertacija istražuje književne prikaze obitelji u odabranim tekstovima suvremene proze engleskog govornog područja od 1980. do 2008. s naglaskom na utjecaj koji društvene, ekonomske i ideološke promjene imaju na obitelj i njezin tradicionalni oblik. Namjera autorice je doprinijeti osuvremenjenju književnog koncepta obitelji kroz otkriće da se, usuprot dosadašnjoj definiciji koja je pod pojmom „obitelj“ podrazumijevala samo tradicionalnu nuklearnu obitelj (heteroseksualne roditelje i njihovu djecu), u suvremenoj prozi pojavljuje više vrsta obitelji. Autorica disertacije utvrdila je supostojanje pet vrsta obitelji u suvremenoj prozi engleskog govornog područja. To su: 1) tradicionalna nuklearna obitelj, 2) obitelj sa samohranim roditeljem, 3) obitelj bez djece, 4) homoseksualna obitelj (obitelj s istospolnim partnerima) i 5) metaforička obitelj. Svaka od „novih“ vrsta obitelji dovodi u pitanje pojmove na kojima se temeljila ideja tradicionalne nuklearne obitelji kao jedine „prave“ obitelji, a to su krvne veze, heteroseksualnost, patrijarhalni poredak, i nagon (obveza) razmnožavanja u svrhu opstanka vrste. Protagonisti suvremene proze ukazuju na to da stvarne – psihološke i emocionalne – obiteljske veze nastaju kada među članovima obitelji postoje osjećaji uzajamne ljubavi, trajnog povjerenja i sigurnosti, pri čemu rod, spol i krvne veze gube na značaju. Formalno uređenje obitelji samo po sebi ne jamči obiteljsku sreću protagonista, nego to čine osjećaji međusobne odanosti i prihvaćanja. Drugim riječima, suvremeni autori insistiraju na prikazima različitih obitelji ne zato što je forma bitna, nego upravo kako bi pokazali da forma ne čini obitelj, nego se obitelj ostvaruje kroz emocionalna značenja i odnos njezinih članova.
Descriptors
(NSK Kontrolirani rječnik)




Parallel keywords (Croatian)contemporary English literature family nuclear metaphorical childless homosexual single-parent suvremena proza na engleskom jeziku nuklearna obitelj metaforička obitelj obitelj bez djece istospolni samohrani.
Versionaccepted version
Resource typetext
Access conditionAccess restricted to students and staff of home institution
Terms of usehttp://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Noteaccepted version
URN:NBNhttps://urn.nsk.hr/urn:nbn:hr:142:914938
CommitterGordana Gašo