Ideologies of Identity in Adolescent Fiction examines the representation of selfhood in adolescent and children's fiction, using a Bakhtinian approach to subjectivity, language, and narrative. The ideological frames within which identities are formed are inextricably bound up with ideas about subjectivity, ideas which pervade and underpin adolescent fictions. Although the humanist subject has been systematically interrogated by recent philosophy and criticism, the question which lies at the heart of fiction for young people is not whether a coherent self exists but what kind of self it is and what are the conditions of its coming into being. Ideologies of Identity in Adolescent Fiction has a double focus: first, the images of selfhood that the fictions offer their readers, especially the interactions between selfhood, social and cultural forces, ideologies, and other selves; and second, the strategies used to structure narrative and to represent subjectivity and intersubjectivity.
"McCallum's book rewards multiple readings and will be necessary reading for anyone viewing adolescent literature through dialogism. It is also (because of its glossary and highly readable explanations of the relationships among concepts like polyphony, heteroglossia, dialogism) a good introduction to Bahktin for scholars of children's and adolescent fiction. I left the book with a better understanding of the importance of both dialogism as a way of reading and of adolescent fiction as a dialogic art form." -- The Lion and the Unicorn