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"What's so special about reading fiction?" - Young Swedish adults´opinions and experiences
University of Borås, Faculty of Librarianship, Information, Education and IT.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1235-4311
2015 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
Sustainable development
The content falls within the scope of Sustainable Development
Abstract [en]

What’s so special about reading fiction?” -  Young adults’ attitudes and ideas in personal interviews

Reading fiction in printed books is declining among young adults today.  Fiction in other media and formats are competing on attention and time of this group, raised in the internet society and with new literacies.  The aim of this study is to investigate how attitudes and experiences are expressed by young adults toward reading fiction. Questions posed are: What are believed to be the most significant effects from reading fiction compared to watching film? What are the thoughts and beliefs of reading fiction in social life and in political community? What are the thoughts of learning from fiction?  How is reading fiction in various formats and editions described? How is the future of reading fiction reflected upon?

Personal interviews with 17 young adults, 16 – 22 years of age, were conducted.  Respondents were students in upper secondary school, vocational as well university –training programs, and in Folk High School.  Theoretical approaches to this study were based on the philosophy of Martha Nussbaum, on literary scholars Suzanne Keen, Rita Felski, and Lisa Zunshine, but also on inter-disciplinary approaches to reading literature conducted by scholars in the International Society for the Empirical Study of Literature and Media (IGEL).    

Results indicate that the respondents, heavy-readers or not, find reading fiction to have positive effects like absorption into imaginative story-worlds, mainly fantasy-genres. This is found to be relaxing and giving new energy to the reader. Reading fiction is also found to effect the reader´s imagination when making up personal pictures in mind, which is not an effect from watching film. Verbalization and discussion on fiction is un-common, although reading fiction is believed to be important in society in general.  Reading fiction is identified with printed books, but not with e-reading.

 

/Skans Kersti Nilsson       

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015.
National Category
Humanities
Research subject
Library and Information Science; Teacher Education and Education Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-612OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-612DiVA: diva2:845384
Conference
Researching Young Readers: theoretical and empirical approaches. University of Wroclaw 7 June 2015
Projects
Fiktionsläsningen i internetsamhället: litteraturens betydelse för unga vuxnas personlighetsutveckling och omvärldsorientering
Funder
Swedish Research Council, VR:s diarienummer 420-2010-1379
Available from: 2015-08-11 Created: 2015-08-11 Last updated: 2016-11-07

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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