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Using the Harry Potter Series in the Multicultural English Classroom as a Tool to Bring Awareness to Unconscious Biases
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2020 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The Harry Potter series, although primarily written for young adults has managed to be widely popular amongst readers of different ages. The series has been able to entice both young and adult readers all over the world as it provides readers with ample opportunities for self-recognition and thus even self-reflection. Other than providing readers with opportunities for self-recognition the series also provides multiple examples of different important real-world issues such as mental health, othering, discrimination, and the stereotype threat.

          In the Harry Potter series, readers are introduced to a whole new world filled with magic, witches, wizards, and other magical beings. The magical world is, however, still very similar to our world; it follows the same timeline as the real world, showcases different teenage problems as well as similar social structures and issues. 

         In today’s society immigrants and students from different nationalities, cultures and backgrounds are very common, leading to othering, stereotyping and prejudices being real issues that need to be addressed in today’s multicultural classes. Students are in need of support and encouragement to better understand and handle these issues in their everyday life.

          Drawing on these ideas this essay will, by using a thematic analysis of the Harry Potter series, focus on the depth of the prejudices presented in the series by examining the underlying structural understanding of othering and racialization which readers are not always aware of being prejudiced against and how these prejudices are presented in the series. The aim is to show how the issues of unconscious biases and othering in the Harry Potter series are presented through the themes and characterization and how they can be used in eliciting empathy by alerting students to the fact that othering and discrimination are often based on unconscious biases found within the society.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020. , p. 37
Keywords [en]
Education, Pedagogy, Empathy, Harry Potter, Prejudice, Othering, Unconscious Biases, Discrimination
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Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-182146OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-182146DiVA, id: diva2:1433747
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Available from: 2020-06-04 Created: 2020-06-01 Last updated: 2020-06-04Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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More languages
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