Titel des Projekts/Title: From Silent Containment to Empowering Rage: Gendered Constructions of Anger Expression and Diversion in Contemporary Picturebooks

VerfasserIn/Author: Rosalyn Borst (Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein.)

Sprache/Language: English

Art des Projekts/Type: Dissertation

Projektlaufzeit/Duration: 2020-

Universität/University: Tilburg University (NL)

Keywords: Gender, Picturebooks, Emotions, Cognitive theory, Multimodal analysis



Women who express anger are often stigmatised as ‘hysterical,’ ‘out of control,’ and ‘incompetent’. The notion that anger expression is not appropriate for women is learned young. Children between three and five already perceive displays of anger as more acceptable from boys than girls. Furthermore, girls are more likely than boys to hide displeasure or anger after a disappointment. Later in life, the tendency to hide negative emotions can develop into a specific way of coping with anger. Instead of expressing anger, many women rely on anger diversions, such as anger containment (e.g., holding one’s tongue) and anger internalization (e.g., feeling guilty about anger). In addition to parents and peers, media, such as children’s books, can play a role in the socialisation of gender differences as they provide frames and scripts for expressing and evaluating emotions. This research project, therefore, focuses on contemporary picturebooks for young children published in Dutch. Combining insights from cognitive theory and social psychology, and using multimodal analysis as the method, it examines which social-emotional values concerning male and female anger these works seem to disseminate. The primary aim is to investigate how contemporary picturebooks treat the stigmatisation of female anger: do they possibly contest it, reinforce it, or adopt another stance?


Biographische Informationen/CV:

Rosalyn Borst is a PhD candidate at the Department of Culture Studies at Tilburg University in the Netherlands where she examines constructions of anger in contemporary Dutch-language picturebooks from a gender perspective. Combining insights from cognitive theory and social psychology, and using multimodal analysis as her method, she explores which social-emotional values regarding expressed and diverted anger contemporary picturebooks for young children seem to disseminate. Before she started her PhD research, she studied Literary Studies (BA), Dutch Language and Culture (BA), and Cultural Analysis (research MA) at the University of Amsterdam. Furthermore, she published on fairy tales’ historical reception and framing (2012) and ‘evil’ children in children’s books (2014). In the context of her PhD project, she published an article on aggressive ‘willful’ female characters in contemporary fairy-tale picturebooks in Marvels & Tales (2022).


Weitere Informationen/Additional information:

Rosalyn's website at Tilburg University