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Seriously, what are they reading? An analysis of Korean children's reading behavior regarding Educational Graphic Novels

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Title: Seriously, what are they reading? An analysis of Korean children's reading behavior regarding Educational Graphic Novels
Author(s): Lim, Yeojoo
Director of Research: Jenkins, Christine A.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Jenkins, Christine A.
Doctoral Committee Member(s): Hearne, Elizabeth G.; McKechnie, Lynne; Tilley, Carol L.
Department / Program: Library & Information Science
Discipline: Library & Information Science
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): Graphic Novels Comics Manhwa Educational Informational Korea
Abstract: This dissertation is a qualitative study that analyzes diverse views on the popularity of Educational Graphic Novels (EGNs) in Korea and children’s use of this medium. In order to elicit voices of children who are the main readers of EGNs, in-depth focus group interviews were conducted with fourteen Korean children ages seven to eleven. Interviews with teachers and librarians who work with children, observations at an elementary school and a public library, and content analysis of selected EGNs were also conducted. Based on the transcripts and reflective notes from the interviews, field notes from the observations, and the content of the three selected EGNs, this study investigates the reasons for popularity and patterns of children’s use of EGNs. Analyses revealed that most Korean children read EGNs primarily for fun, not to learn information. Although the EGNs consist of both entertaining and educational elements, children easily picked out and enjoyed only the fun parts, while ignoring the information parts. There was barely any gender difference in children’s passion for EGNs, but some differences existed in how girls and boys responded to certain elements of the EGNs – the boys responded to violent illustrations more than girls did and the girls responded to the subject of romance and were attracted by a strong as well as smart and pretty female character. Many children indicated that their enthusiasm for EGNs came from the humor in the books. Violence, verbal humor, slapstick humor and toilet humor were the focus group children’s favorite types of humor in EGNs. Generally, teachers and librarians had critical views of EGNs. The biggest concern was that EGNs would make children lose interest in reading regular children’s books. However, the focus group interviews and observations reflected that children like to read regular children’s books as well, regardless of their passion for EGNs. This study also indicated that Korean children are familiar with media intertextuality. The focus group children demonstrated that they are skillful users of diverse media, by crossing boundaries between texts and media formats that originated from the EGNs.
Issue Date: 2012-05-22
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/31059
Rights Information: Copyright 2012 Yeojoo Lim
Date Available in IDEALS: 2012-05-22
Date Deposited: 2012-05
 

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