(Global) Capitalism and Immigrant Workers in Gary Paulsen's <em>Lawn Boy</em>: Naturalization of Exploitation

  • Lilijana Burcar
Keywords: immigrant workers, exploitation, globalized capitalism, neoliberalism, Gary Paulsen, Lawn Boy


Exploitable migrant labour is one of the key organizational features of contemporary capital accumulation. Migrants' underpaid work makes a significant contribution to the affluence of Western receiving societies, keeping them economically prosperous. The article addresses the mechanisms of representation by means of which mainstream children's literature mystifies exploitative socio-economic relations affecting immigrant workers, which in turn leads to the naturalization of structural inequalities and hierarchically organized constructs of identity. Specifically, the article examines the ways in which exploitative labour practices in relation to migrant workers are effectively papered over and justified in Gary Paulsen's novel Lawn Boy.


DOI: 10.1353/jeu.2012.0010

Author Biography

Lilijana Burcar

Lilijana Burcar, Ph.D., teaches at the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana. Her research focuses on feminist theory and gender studies, post-colonial and neo-colonial studies, social justice, and contemporary British and American literatures. She is the author of A New Wave of Innocence in Children’s Literature: Conservative Backlash and the Significance of Harry Potter and Lyra Silvermouth (published in Slovene, 2007).

How to Cite
Burcar, L. (2012). (Global) Capitalism and Immigrant Workers in Gary Paulsen’s <em>Lawn Boy</em&gt;: Naturalization of Exploitation. Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures, 4(1). Retrieved from http://jeunessejournal.ca/index.php/yptc/article/view/27