Det läsande barnet: minnen av läspraktiker, 1900–1940
2011 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
This thesis is a study of the cultural history of children’s reading. It is argued that it is important to apply a wider historical perspective to the contemporary debate on the rapid changes in children’s and young people’s reading habits, and that existing historical research rarely deals with reading as a practice, but rather with its institutional and textual conditions such as the school, the library system and children’s literature. The thesis thus aims to explore the practice of reading and its relations to historical circumstances.
Through a close reading of 30 retrospective interviews conducted in the 1970’s and 80’s, the analysis deals with some of the experienced motives, inter- pretations, materialities and social dimensions of children’s reading practices experienced in the first decades of the 20th century. It offers a discussion of these practices as related to wider historical contexts. Theoretically, the analysis is in- spired by the conceptualizations of a ‘history of reading’ in the works of Roger Chartier, Robert Darnton and Jonathan Rose.
It is concluded that even if the informants in principle had access to different models, motives and genres for reading, the practice of reading often had to take on the character of improvisation in contexts where material resources and soci- al sympathies for reading were lacking. Furthermore, in relation to the complex social tensions and dynamics surrounding reading, the practice may also be defined by its degree of legitimacy and/or autonomy in a given context.
These results imply that further research and debate is needed on the con- nections between the value attributed to reading in relation to changing concepts of work and “usefulness”, on the collective historical experiences of cultural progression, and on issues of the identity of the modern children’s library.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institutionen Biblioteks- och informationsvetenskap/Bibliotekshögskolan, Högskolan i Borås , 2011.
Skrifter från Valfrid, ISSN 1103-6990 ; 48
children, history of reading, library and information science, literacy, national movements, oral history, popular education, popular reading, reading habits, reading practices, user studies, youth culture
Research subject Library and Information Science
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-3599Local ID: 2320/9306ISBN: 978-91-89416-29-5OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-3599DiVA: diva2:876989
Akademisk avhandling som med tillstånd av Forsknings- och utbildningsnämnden vid Högskolan i Borås framläggs till offentlig granskning klockan 13.00 fredagen den 16 december 2011 i sal M506, Högskolan i Borås2015-12-042015-12-04