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dc.contributor.advisorRaftery, M. M.
dc.contributor.authorDe Klerk, Danie
dc.date.accessioned2015-08-11T08:18:04Z
dc.date.available2015-08-11T08:18:04Z
dc.date.issued2011-01-03
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/11660/798
dc.description.abstractEnglish: Being literate is a privilege which is often taken for granted. The ability to read the morning newspaper or the subtitles of one’s favourite soap opera is often viewed as trivial, or incidental, and yet South Africa’s population is far from 100% literate. The youth’s preoccupation with technology (cell phones and computers, for example) has marginalised healthier pastimes like reading. Fortunately, this trend appears to have begun to shift: our youth may be rediscovering previous generations’ love of reading thanks to best-selling authors like J.K. Rowling, Terry Pratchett, and Phillip Pullman. Consequently, the rationale for this study is to determine to what extent (if any) a specific author’s contribution to literature is motivating young people to read again, and whether her texts can be deemed a viable aid to the moral education of the youth. Thus, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter oeuvre is the main material under study, and is explored in terms of both its potential as an aid to moral development (and the consequent lessons that can be taken from it), as well as its possible contribution to the re-establishment of a reading culture among the youth of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The question then arises as to whether a culture of reading has, in fact, been established among the above-mentioned group, and whether the suggested texts have played a part in doing so. Moreover, one has to consider what moral lessons, if any, are propagated by Rowling. On the one hand, this dissertation explores the responses of young people who have and have not been exposed to the series in terms of their interest in and affinity for reading, and to what extent Rowling’s series has influenced them, if at all. As the focus of this study is solely on Rowling’s Harry Potter series, it is naturally not quantifiable beyond these limitations. However, the results may still serve as a springboard for future studies. On the other hand, the focus of the study extends to areas of a more personal nature that deal with principles such as young people’s responses to themes like good versus evil, and their understanding of social and moral commentary. The opinion of certain critics, such as Maretha Maartens who fervently denounced the texts for religious reasons, is also considered in an attempt to verify whether young readers are exposed to moral risks by the magical aspect of Rowling’s work, or whether, in sharing Harry’s experiences, they form a more comprehensive understanding of the relationship between good and evil and the complexities of life and human relations. From an academic point of view there is no doubt that literacy is a vital and invaluable asset that everyone should be privileged to possess. In conducting this research, I hope to contribute to the already existing body of data pertaining to the study of literacy and the affinity of young people for reading. Furthermore, I intend to confer a greater sense of credibility, from a literary perspective, on Rowling’s oeuvre, which also addresses a number of relevant moral concerns. I believe that the lessons learned from the texts, as well as the companionship they lend to young people, who often feel alone and unappreciated, are not always acknowledged. Additionally, I believe that Harry Potter is the ideal material to prescribe to both first- and second-language speakers of English, especially at primary school level. Apart from the moral and thematic aspects that young people of this age group will be privileged to encounter, they will also be exposed to a body of work that contains an impressive range of words for vocabulary improvement, and a standard of English that will establish a reliable basis for any future studies in the language.en_ZA
dc.description.abstractAfrikaans: Geletterdheid is 'n voorreg wat dikwels as vanselfsprekend aanvaar word. Die vermoë om die ondertitels van 'n mens se gunsteling sepie of die oggend koerant te lees word telkens beskou as ʼn gegewe, en tog is Suid-Afrika se bevolking ver van 100% geletterd. Die jeug se beheptheid met tegnologie (byvoorbeeld selfone en rekenaars) marginaliseer gesonder tydverdrywe soos om te lees. Gelukkig blyk dit dat hierdie tendens begin skuif het en dat die jeug vorige geslagte se liefde vir lees herontdek te danke aan skrywers soos JK Rowling, Terry Pratchett, en Phillip Pullman. Gevolglik is die rasionaal vir hierdie studie om vas te stel tot watter mate (indien enige) 'n spesifieke skrywer se bydrae tot die literatuur jong mense motiveer om weer te lees, en of die tekste lewensvatbare steun kan bied tot die morele opvoeding van die jeug. J.K. Rowling se Harry Potter oeuvre sal as die kern literatuur in hierdie studie dien, en dit word in terme van beide potensiaal as hulpmiddel vir morele ontwikkeling (en die gevolglike lesse wat daaruit geneem kan word), sowel as die moontlike bydrae tot die hervestiging van 'n leeskultuur onder die jeug van die twintigste en een en twintigste eeu ondersoek. Derhalwe ontstaan die vraag of 'n leeskultuur werklik onder die bogenoemde groep bestaan, en of die voorgestelde tekste ʼn rol gespeel het in die toedoen van sake. Gevolglik is dit noodsaaklik om te oorweeg watter morele lesse, indien enige, uit die tekste geneem kan word. Hierdie tesis ondersoek die reaksie van jong mense wat wel blootgestel is aan Rowling se tekste en meet dit aan die reaksie van jong mense wat nie daaraan blootgestel is nie. Verder meet dit ook hul belangstelling in lees, met ander woorde, of hulle ʼn affiniteit vir lees het en tot watter mate Rowling se reeks hulle beïnvloed. Aan die ander kant strek die fokus van die studie na meer persoonlike (en natuurlik beginselvaste) gebiede, byvoorbeeld jong mense se reaksie op temas soos die goeie teenoor die bose, asook hul begrip van sosiale en morele kommentaar. Die mening van sekere kritici, soos Maretha Maartens se vurige veroordeling van die tekste vir godsdienstige redes, is ook in ag geneem in 'n poging om te kontroleer of jong lesers blootgestel word aan morele risiko’s deur die magiese aspek van Rowling se werk, en of Harry se ervarings lesers help om ʼn meer omvattende begrip van die verhouding tussen die goeie en die bose, asook die kompleksiteit van die lewe en menslike verhoudings, te vorm. Vanuit 'n akademiese oogpunt is daar geen twyfel dat geletterdheid ʼn belangrike en waardevolle bate is waaroor almal moet beskik nie. In die uitvoering van hierdie navorsing hoop ek om tot die reeds bestaande liggaam van data met betrekking tot die studie van geletterdheid en jong mense se affiniteit vir lees by te dra. Verder hoop ek ook om ʼn groter sin van geloofwaardigheid te verleen, veral uit ʼn literêre perspektief, aan Rowling se oeuvre, en om belangrike en verwante morele kwessies aan te spreek. Ek glo dat die lesse wat uit die tekste te leer is, sowel as die kameraadskap wat dit aan jong mense (wat dikwels alleen en ongewaardeerd is) verleen, ʼn waardevolle rol kan speel in jong mense se ontwikkelingsjare. Verder vertrou ek dat Harry Potter die ideale materiaal is om voor te skryf vir beide eers teen tweede-taal-sprekers van Engels, veral op primêre skoolvlak. Afgesien van die morele en tematiese aspekte waarby jong mense van hierdie ouderdomsgroep baat sal vind, sal dit hulle ook blootstel aan tekste wat ʼn indrukwekkende verskeidenheid woorde (vir woordeskat verbetering) bevat, wat verseker dat die reeks ʼn betroubare fondasie by die leerder vestig en dus enige toekomstige studies in Engels vergemaklik.
dc.language.isoenen_ZA
dc.publisherUniversity of the Free Stateen_ZA
dc.subjectRowling, J. K. -- Criticism and interpretationen_ZA
dc.subjectTeenagers -- Books and readingen_ZA
dc.subjectImaginationen_ZA
dc.subjectNarration (Rhetoric) -- Psychological aspectsen_ZA
dc.subjectMagic -- Fictionen_ZA
dc.subjectMoral educationen_ZA
dc.subjectDissertation (M.A. (English))--University of the Free State, 2011en_ZA
dc.titleMagic as moral education: J.K. Rowling's revival of reading and its role in adolescent personal developmenten_ZA
dc.typeDissertationen_ZA
dc.rights.holderUniversity of the Free Stateen_ZA


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