"A substantial oral project conducted on video to investigate the reading experiences of current and past child readers of the genre and current adult readers of girls' school stories. Interviewees will be drawn from two secondary schools (one comprehensive, one girls' public boarding school) and from girls' school story fan club members and book collectors. In devising my methodology for this project I will draw on the work of Gill Frith (1985), who conducted research among young girls reading Enid Blyton's girls' school stories in British comprehensive schools in the early 1980s, and Janice Radway (1987), who conducted research among adult women reading romance genre fiction in the USA in the mid-1980s. It is likely that this methodology will include a mixture of individual and group interviews, as well as the use of questionnaires.

Issues to be examined will include: the importance placed on their reading experiences by readers of girls' school stories, both at the time and (where applicable) in retrospect; the elements which readers perceive/perceived as being most important in determining reading choices; whether any individual author is/was preferred within the genre; the extent to which readers identify with/identified with individual characters; whether readers have/had been influenced or prompted to carry out any action as a result of their reading experiences; the difference which readers perceive between their own lives and experience of schooling and that of the characters; and the value judgements which readers make about the genre.

The socio-economic class of the readers will also be recorded, as will the frequency with and numbers in which girls' school stories are/were read; the age at which past readers ceased to read the books and which present readers perceive themselves ceasing to read them (if at all); and whether readers also read girls' school stories in comic form and if so which form (if any) is/was preferred. This project should establish the commonalities and differences in readers' experiences of girls' school stories, and whether these differ according to the age of the reader or the decade in which the books were read. It may also establish whether reading experiences are common to the genre as a whole or differ according to the author and books being read."
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