Thursday, June 15, 2006

Comprehensive List of Common Reasons for Banning or Challenging Books

Edward B. Jenkinson is the author of “Protecting Holden Caulfied and His Friends from the Censors”(English Journal 74:1 (1985): 26-33). In this journal article, Jenkinson surveys the textbook censorship picture over the past decades.

Jenkinson lists twenty-five common reasons that books may be challenged or banned. They are listed in no particular order.

1) Children questioning authority of parents and other authority figures
2) Profanity
3) Characters speaking in non-Standard English
4) African American literature and dialect
5) Portrayals of women (Some groups object to portrayals of women in traditional roles and others to portrayals of women in non-traditional roles.)
6) Mythology
7) Non-Christian culture
8) Supernatural, occult, witchcraft, Halloween
9) Ethnic Studies
10) Violence
11) Sexual Acts, sexually explicit language
12) Invasions of privacy, asking readers to examine personal backgrounds
13) Abundance of cartoons
14) Works by or about homosexuals
15) Works that do not champion the work ethic
16) Books that do not promote patriotism
17) Negative statements about parents, authority, and U.S. traditions
18) Science fiction and fantasy
19) Works by “questionable” authors such as Langston Hughes, Malcolm X, and Ogden Nash
20) “Trash”: such as Catcher in the Rye, Go Ask Alice, Flowers for Algernon
21) Nontraditional family units
22) Books promoting self-awareness and self-understanding
23) Books promoting critical thinking
24) Works unfavorable to African-Americans
25) Use of masculine pronouns to refer to male and female (he, his, etc.)


Anonymous said...

can u tell me some common reasons in which why people ban books?

Anonymous said...

Could you tell me some common reasons on why people try to ban books?