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ERIC Number: ED263528
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-May
Pages: 23
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Uses of Reading Mass-Produced Romance Fiction.
Neuman, Susan B.
A study of formula fiction books was conducted to determine how these books fit into women's lives, what images they bring to mind, and what uses they serve. Seventy-two women from the ages of 18 to 70 read a Harlequin Romance novel by Sue Byfield. Then the group participated in several focus group discussions, a qualitative indepth technique that involved convening small groups of women, each with a moderator, for an open-ended discussion to generate hypotheses on readers' attitudes. Findings showed that women read formula fiction because it indulged their fantasies, was flexible (easy to carry and to read), provided temporary relief from the anxieties of the day and boredom, and provided new information on vocabulary and descriptions of other countries. Results indicated that the romance novels appeared to serve multiple functions determined by the readers' purposes and needs. Beyond the women's individual responses, the discussions reflected on a number of issues, such as reasons for needing to escape from the real world and the negative consequences of reading such fiction. (A demographic profile of participants and a short list of references are included.) (EL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A