ERIC Number: ED284190
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-May
Reference Count: 0
Understanding the Appeal of the Romance Novel for the Adolescent Girl: A Reader-Response Approach.
Moffitt, Mary Anne
Following up research by Radway and others on readers of romance novels, a study, employing a reader-response approach, was conducted with 18 female adolescent readers of romances to discover if they perceived and enjoyed the novels in ways appreciably different from other readers. The subjects filled out questionnaires about their romance novel reading habits, were interviewed about their backgrounds and personal lives, and were observed selecting books at a bookstore. The data suggest that young women construct and internalize romance novels in a unique way according to their experiences, and choose to read them (1) to get information on males and sexual technique; (2) to escape their lives by identifying with the heroines and thereby feel better about themselves; and (3) to"practice" vicariously cultural experiences and social behaviors they have yet to experience. The latter reason is compounded by the adolescents' need to psychologically break away from their parents. The novels assist by satisfying their need for identity, which they derive from identifying with independent heroines. Further research is needed on how readers construct and internalize the novels. (References and sample questionnaires are included.) (JC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Romance Novels
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (37th, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, May 21-25, 1987). Small print may not reproduce clearly.