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Coined in 2009 by Maria Nikolajeva, from Latin aetas (age) + normativity.


aetonormativity (uncountable)

  1. Any assumption of an age-based norm and particularly the assumption that adults and adult experiences are normative while children and childish experiences are consequently deviant or other.
    Could one consequence of aetonormativity be that most picture books are written by adults, despite their target audience being children?
    • 2009, Maria Nikolajeva, Power, Voice and Subjectivity in Literature for Young Readers:
      On analogy with the central concept of queer theory, heteronormativity, I propose the concept of aetonormativity (Lat. aeto-, pertaining to age), adult normativity that governs the way children's literature has been patterned from its emergence until the present day.
    • 2013, Beauvais, Clémentine, “'The Problem of 'Power': Metacritical Implications of Aetonormativity for Children's Literature Research”, in Children's Literature in Education, volume 44, number 1, DOI:10.1007/s10583-012-9182-3, page 78:
      And, relatedly, exploring aetonormativity in children's literature as the normativisation of only some carefully identified adult "powers" could lead to a more complex model of the normalising/othering binary developed in the literature.

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