Mixing It Up: Using Mixed Methods Research to Investigate Contemporary Cultures of Reading

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Fuller, Danielle
Rehberg Sedo, DeNel
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University of Massachusetts Press
Excerpt from introduction: "Understanding complex cultural phenomena such as the widely adopted “One Book, One Community” (OBOC) model demands a methodology that can generate a series of standpoints on the social, ideological, material, economic, and political aspects of what we might term “formally organized” shared reading, or mass reading events (MREs). How, then, might reading studies researchers attend to these standpoints and the relations between different agents—readers, event organizers, institutions including libraries and schools, publishers, and the media— to produce a nuanced account of contemporary shared reading as a situated social practice? The investigative methods we used for the Beyond the Book project help us to understand what happens when people come together to share reading, and can be categorized as mixed methods research. This chapter examines our use of mixed methods in our multisite project, including an intentional mixing of language and concepts from realist and interpretative paradigms,1 and a combination of quantitative survey methods alongside qualitative focus group and individual interviews, participant observation of mass reading events, and textual and content analysis of promotional materials and event ephemera. We make a case for the employment of similar methodologies within reading studies scholarship, particularly in the study of shared reading as a situated social practice in the northern industrialized countries of the early twenty-first century."
one book project , shared reading , mass reading events , reading communities
Fuller, D., & Rehberg Sedo, D. (2012). Mixing it Up: Using Mixed Methods Research to Investigate Contemporary Cultures of Reading. In A. Lang (Ed.), From Codex to Hypertext: Reading at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century (pp. 234-251). Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press.