Laughing through adolescent literature: Middle school students' use of humor as a vehicle for understanding

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/284026
Title:
Laughing through adolescent literature: Middle school students' use of humor as a vehicle for understanding
Author:
Onofrey, Karen Ann
Issue Date:
1999
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore how five middle school students used humor in young adult literature as a vehicle for understanding according to Louise Rosenblatt's transactional reading theory. The study was conducted in an honors language arts classroom in the Southwestern region of the United States. Methods for data collection included twenty semi-structured interviews, observational fieldnotes, transcripts of audiotaped and videotaped literature circle discussions, journal entries, a humor survey and other miscellaneous written artifacts. Data were collected for seven months. Instructional materials included a variety of young adult novels and short stories representing historical fiction and contemporary realistic fiction genres. Analytic induction, constant comparison, organizational charts, and various forms of member checking were used to analyze the data. The results of the study indicate that the students used humor to construct meaning while reading. Specifically, students visualized action humor in the texts enhancing their comprehension. Discussions referencing experiential and textual connections were commonplace. Some students found humor in the use of archaic language or the use of dialects different from their own. The students read the adolescent literature both efferently and aesthetically (Rosenblatt, 1995) as they attended to humor setting conditions for engaging the humor. First, if the humor was the result of superiority humor where the focus group members could predict the targeted character would be hurt, disappointed or promote a negative change in the character's development, then they would not engage in the humor. Second, if the humor was closely related to their world of understanding, then the humor was embraced only after careful deliberation. Third, if the characters presented themselves as resilient and unaffected by the humor, then the students were willing to laugh at the characters.
Type:
text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
Keywords:
Education, Language and Literature.; Education, Secondary.; Education, Reading.
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Language, Reading and Culture
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Fox, Dana L.; Goodman, Yetta M.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.titleLaughing through adolescent literature: Middle school students' use of humor as a vehicle for understandingen_US
dc.creatorOnofrey, Karen Annen_US
dc.contributor.authorOnofrey, Karen Annen_US
dc.date.issued1999en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThe purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore how five middle school students used humor in young adult literature as a vehicle for understanding according to Louise Rosenblatt's transactional reading theory. The study was conducted in an honors language arts classroom in the Southwestern region of the United States. Methods for data collection included twenty semi-structured interviews, observational fieldnotes, transcripts of audiotaped and videotaped literature circle discussions, journal entries, a humor survey and other miscellaneous written artifacts. Data were collected for seven months. Instructional materials included a variety of young adult novels and short stories representing historical fiction and contemporary realistic fiction genres. Analytic induction, constant comparison, organizational charts, and various forms of member checking were used to analyze the data. The results of the study indicate that the students used humor to construct meaning while reading. Specifically, students visualized action humor in the texts enhancing their comprehension. Discussions referencing experiential and textual connections were commonplace. Some students found humor in the use of archaic language or the use of dialects different from their own. The students read the adolescent literature both efferently and aesthetically (Rosenblatt, 1995) as they attended to humor setting conditions for engaging the humor. First, if the humor was the result of superiority humor where the focus group members could predict the targeted character would be hurt, disappointed or promote a negative change in the character's development, then they would not engage in the humor. Second, if the humor was closely related to their world of understanding, then the humor was embraced only after careful deliberation. Third, if the characters presented themselves as resilient and unaffected by the humor, then the students were willing to laugh at the characters.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeDissertation-Reproduction (electronic)en_US
dc.subjectEducation, Language and Literature.en_US
dc.subjectEducation, Secondary.en_US
dc.subjectEducation, Reading.en_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineLanguage, Reading and Cultureen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorFox, Dana L.en_US
dc.contributor.advisorGoodman, Yetta M.en_US
dc.identifier.proquest9957973en_US
dc.identifier.bibrecord.b40144197en_US
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