We Enjoy Doing Reading Together: Finding Potential in Affective Encounters With People and Things for Sustaining Volitional Reading

Boyask, Ruth
Jackson, Jayne
Milne, John
Harrington, Celeste
May, Robyn
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Journal Article
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Informa UK Limited

Reading is one of many things vying for young people’s attention. In the case of volitional reading, young people between 8 and 15 are following trends of less enjoyment of reading and declining time spent reading. There are complex explanations for patterns of decline in their volitional reading related to how choice is afforded within social and material relations. This article offers a glimpse into the motivations for young people’s volitional reading through placing a socio-material lens on descriptive statistics. Affect theory provides new ways of comprehending and using patterns in children and young people’s relationships to reading, recognising these as mutable and contingent relations within reading assemblages. Reading affect in volitional reading describes felt experiences of encountering other bodies (human and nonhuman) through reading. The secondary data from the Growing Up in New Zealand longitudinal cohort measures the physical, social, and cultural dimensions of over 6000 children in Aotearoa New Zealand. Descriptive statistical analyses showed relationships between reading enjoyment and frequency at age 8 and over 60 variables from throughout their life course. We comprehend reading affect by applying our socio-material lens to variables related to reading enjoyment assembled within a rough approximation of the complex arrangements of young people’s lives at home and in out of home experiences. Through reflecting upon associations identified in statistics, we find potential in encounters with other people and things to draw young people back into reading, rather than act as distractions.

39 Education , 3904 Specialist Studies In Education , Pediatric , Behavioral and Social Science , Basic Behavioral and Social Science , 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy , 1702 Cognitive Sciences , 2004 Linguistics , Education , 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy , 3903 Education systems , 4704 Linguistics
Language and Education, ISSN: 0950-0782 (Print); 1747-7581 (Online), Informa UK Limited, ahead-of-print(ahead-of-print), 1-18. doi: 10.1080/09500782.2024.2337658
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© 2024 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.