Given the range of subjects encompassed by 'children's literature' it is clear that many fascinating networks could be explored. Jack Zipes, for example, has opened up new areas of thought about the fairy tale, and suggests possible directions:
To talk about fairy tales today, especially feminist fairy tales, one must, in my opinion, talk about power, violence, alienation, social conditions, child-rearing and sex roles. It is no longer possible to ignore the connection between the aesthetic components of the fairy tales, whether they be old or new, and their historical function within a socialisation process which forms taste, mores, values, and habits. And it is too simple or simplistic to maintain that children need fairy tales more than any other form of literature to work through psychic disturbances as many pseudo-Freudians like Bruno Bettelheim have done without challenging the premise of the oedipal paradigm. It is also too ethereal and idealistic to argue that the fairy tales contain archetypal patterns which point the way to happiness as many Jungians have done without questioning the historical validity of the archetypes. What is needed is a socio-psychological theory based on the recent findings of feminist investigations and critical reinterpretations of Freud that will help us grasp how fairy tales function historically in a mediatory role within the American and British socialisation processes. (Zipes 1986:2)
The three articles in this section survey and discuss three areas: the links between children's literature (taken here to include, in American terminology, 'young adult' literature), folklore and science fiction; the limitations and possibilities of psychological criticism; and the burgeoning of cultural studies.