Book or screen, pen or keyboard? a cross-cultural sociological analysis of writing and reading habits basing on Germany, Italy and the UK

Manuela Farinosi (Lead / Corresponding author), Christopher Lim, Julia Roll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The goal of this paper is to investigate cross-cultural similarities and differences in the adoption of writing and reading technologies by young people. In particular, it explores the affordances of writing and reading on paper and those of writing on a keyboard and reading on a screen in Germany, Italy and UK.

The study is based on a comparative analysis of essays (N=206) about reading and writing practices written by 54 German, 23 British and 129 Italian students. These essays were analysed through qualitative content analysis in order to understand how reading/writing are reshaped after the advent of ICT use in the educational context. This is the first time such a comparative study is done.

The main result of the study is that there are no major differences between German, Italian and British students. Their choice of paper and pencil vs. screen and keyboard depends on different reasons, which could be summed up into six categories: 1. aesthetical reasons/appearance; 2. practical reasons/habits/traditions; 3. social reasons/receiver and sender relations; 4. physiological/cognitive/health reasons; 5. technological reasons; and 6. ecological reasons.
Secondly, there are not mutually exclusive. Both reading on paper or screen and writing with a pen or a keyboard has advantages and disadvantages at the same time. Students take that mode of reading and writing which subjectively suits those best in different contexts.

This article is basing on the research activities within the COST Action FPS 1104 “New Possibilities for Print and Media Packaging: Combining Print with Digital” (May 2012 – May 2016).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)410-421
Number of pages12
JournalTelematics and Informatics
Volume33
Issue number2
Early online date21 Sep 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2016

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Keywords

  • Cross-cultural similarities

Cite this

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Book or screen, pen or keyboard? a cross-cultural sociological analysis of writing and reading habits basing on Germany, Italy and the UK. / Farinosi, Manuela (Lead / Corresponding author); Lim, Christopher; Roll, Julia.

In: Telematics and Informatics, Vol. 33, No. 2, 05.2016, p. 410-421.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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