Stig-Börje Asplund

Local Reading Practices of Working-Class Males from Rural Woodlands: Continuity and Change Across Lives and Generations

How people use reading in their lives is strongly related to life modes, local identity, and belonging, and connected to dynamic ideologies and complexities of time and space across generations. This project will focus on local reading practices of three generations of working-class males from Swedish rural woodlands. Research on adults’ reading outside educational contexts is still an unexplored area, especially when it comes to rural males. Many of them have non-academic, working-class backgrounds, and are less likely to engage in sustained and voluntary reading. Hence, their specific place-based reading practices need to be better understood. The project aims to highlight continuity and change in rural working-class males’ local, place-based reading practices and to explore their use of reading when negotiating their everyday lives and constructing their identities across individual lives and generations between 1950 and today. The project is based on life story interviews with males from five families living in the same woodland area. The interviews are connected to local historical sources to enable analyses of the males’ narratives and relate them to local history. The project will make a unique contribution to reading research by facilitating nuanced descriptions of rural males’ local reading practices in relation to changes in schools and society based on an ecological perspective on reading that emphasizes connections between humans, context and reading.
Grant administrator
Karlstad University
Reference number
SEK 3,579,000
RJ Projects