Shared reading: A practice-based study of The Reader Organisation reading model in relation to Mersey Care provision and the English literary tradition

Farrington, Grace
Shared reading: A practice-based study of The Reader Organisation reading model in relation to Mersey Care provision and the English literary tradition. Doctor of Philosophy thesis, University of Liverpool.

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This thesis is a study of the literary practice of shared reading as practised by The Reader Organisation (TRO) in its Get into Reading (GIR) project. The first and shorter half of the thesis offers an introductory location of the key elements of GIR practice within TRO’s sense of the English literary tradition. The first two chapters thus examine the foundations for the reading of poetry (in chapter one with regard to the Elizabethan lyric) and prose (in chapter two in relation to Victorian realism) within GIR. Part two investigates the actual praxis of shared reading aloud in groups. Chapters three to five provide an account of the methodology and findings of research into the practice of GIR. ‘Bibliotherapy’ is problematised here as a term which, whilst it appeals to the idea of the relevance and use of books, and points to the existence of a place for reading within a specifically prescribed area, also risks narrowing down the idea of the shared reading model. Chapters three and four, forming the central part of the thesis, set out the terms of a literary-critical analysis of transcripts collected from GIR sessions, and outline the discovery within these transcripts of evidence of a varied model of literary thinking prompted by the reading-group leaders trained by TRO. Chapter three concentrates on the group-session transcripts; chapter four on individual case-studies across sessions. These chapters provide the focus for the thesis as a study of the non-specialist responses of real readers to what literature is. A toolkit is offered to identify certain tools and values that are implicit within the experience. It is to be hoped that future studies might refine, correct, or build upon the analyses set out in these chapters in particular through the use of established formal techniques such as conversation and discourse analysis. But the initial aim here was to investigate the phenomena in literary terms ahead of any such alignment with the categories of linguistics. In chapter five the findings of the present study are consolidated through a series of individual interviews with a number of the participants, offering their experience at another level and in reflective aftermath. Increasingly GIR is being introduced as a form of intervention within modern mental health care, and the thesis closes with a consideration of the place of shared group reading within the context of health and the languages of cure or therapy.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy)
Additional Information: Date: 2014-06 (completed)
Uncontrolled Keywords: reading groups, reading aloud, reader response, reading in practice, Get into Reading, literature, mental health, reading and health
Subjects: ?? PE ??
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2014 13:29
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2022 04:42
DOI: 10.17638/00018917
  • Billington, Josie
  • Davis, Philip
  • Fearnley, David
  • Davis, Jane