The effect of reading on a group of young men: how does it influence selfhood.
University of Southampton, School of Education,
PDF (A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the degree of Doctor of Education)
This thesis is concerned with examining what the influence of reading is, on those young men who choose to read. Looking at the responses of a number of young men, a tripartite approach details the reading history of each respondent, discusses participants’ responses to their general reading, and examines participants reading and responses to John Boyne’s novel The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. The research aims were to develop both a
theoretical and empirical understanding of how reading influences selfhood, whilst exploring ideas about reading and its value. Within education there is a perception that
‘Boys don’t read’. This study examines whether young men, beyond the influence of school, read; and if they do read, what value they place on it. Respondents, aged 21 to 26,
comprised a small scale opportunist sample, all comprehensive-school educated. Key questions addressed focused on what the experiences and perceptions of reading among participants were, what value was placed on reading, and what was learnt from it, and how that reading influenced the selfhood of those young men who read? Theories relevant to reading and self construction are presented. The data were collected by the researcher
from the participants via face to face interviews, and is analysed and interpreted under four sections; the reading accounts, their interpretation, themes therein and the sense of self of the participants emergent from their reading responses. In its conclusion, the study
strongly suggests that the effect of reading has a potent influence on the selfhood of those who read, in term of intellectual, moral and emotional development.
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