Graduate Research Paper (UNI Access Only)
Dakota Indians--Historiography; Children's literature;
This research paper considered the following questions: Is there evidence of stereotyping, omission of important facts, and inaccuracies in facts presented in historical literature written about the Dakota people of the late nineteenth century for children age 8-13? If distortions are present, has the nature and/ or incidence of stereotypes, omissions, and inaccuracies written about the Dakota people for children age 8-13 changed over time? And if these distortions have changed, how have they changed? These questions were addressed through a qualitative content analysis of 28 books written as histories of the Dakota for middle school students. Seven books were evaluated from each of the following four decades: the 1960s, the 1970s, the 1980s, and the 1990s. The first seven books from each decade found in local libraries were selected for analysis. Of the 28 books evaluated, 27 included stereotypes, inaccuracies and/or omissions. The average prevalence of distortions found was.67 distortions per page in the 1960s books,.83 distortions per page in the 1970s books,.56 distortions per page in the 1980s books, and.36 distortions per page in the 1990s books. The types of distortions that were most prevalent also varied by decade. The books evaluated from the 1960s and 1970s included more inaccuracies than they did stereotypes or omissions. By contrast, the books evaluated from the 1980s and 1990s contained a more equitable distribution of distortions; inaccuracies, stereotypes, and omissions were equally prevalent in most of the books evaluated from those decades. In summary, the numbers of distortions used by mainstream authors in historical accounts about the Dakota of the late nineteenth century decreased, in the books studied, from the 1960s to the 1990s. However, distortions were still found in the books evaluated from the 1990s.
Date of Award
Master of Arts
Division of School Library Studies
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
1 PDF file (103 pages)
©1999 Mary Lou Weber
Weber, Mary Lou, "A qualitative analysis of the Dakota in histories of the late nineteenth century written for middle school students" (1999). Graduate Research Papers. 62.