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Title: Reading for pleasure in Britain : trends, patterns, and associations
Author: Taylor, Mark
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis investigates reading for pleasure in Britain from a variety of perspectives, in the context of popular concerns surrounding levels of readership, particularly among young people, and consists of four substantive chapters. The first chapter reports how book sales and library circulation have changed, and what predicts readership in the Taking Part survey. I show that claims surrounding changes in reading in Britain may be overstated, although the number of issues from British libraries has fallen, and that while the predictors of readership are largely as expected, there are some important results surrounding social status, and ethnic differences in children. The second chapter investigates changes in young people’s reading behaviour, using the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England. I show that changes in young people’s reading cannot be explained through a displacement effects account, and that socioeconomic differences in readership do not increase as panel members get older. In the third chapter, I investigate whether the relationship between reading for pleasure and educational attainment can be explained through cultural capital, and extend this with occupational attainment, using the 1970 British Cohort Study. I show a relationship between reading for pleasure and occupational attainment net of education, and I show that this relationship seems to have a cultural dimension beyond a cognitive effect account. In the fourth chapter, I show that the relationship between leisure in adoles- cence and educational and occupational attainment is not driven purely by highbrow activities, as on a certain understanding of Bourdieu: in particular, I show a relationship between occupational attainment and middlebrow activities.
Supervisor: Chan, Tak Wing Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Sociology ; Children and youth ; Social status ; reading for pleasure ; sociology of culture ; bcs70 ; lsype ; taking part