The leisure reading habits of first-year, female Emirati university students: an investigation

Kamhieh, C. (2012) The leisure reading habits of first-year, female Emirati university students: an investigation. Ph.D. thesis, Canterbury Christ Church University.


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Educators the world over are concerned about a perceived lack of interest in leisure reading among tertiary level students, particularly in the Gulf Arab states where indigenous cultures have always been predominantly oral. This thesis provides the first in-depth exploration of the leisure reading habits of a convenience sample of first-year female university students in the United Arab Emirates, using data which was gathered through interviews, journal entries, snapshot surveys, questionnaires, conversations and emails and analyzed using a grounded theory approach. Its contribution to the research is that it provides a better theoretical understanding of many key factors related to leisure reading among this particular group. We find their reader identities shaped by their reading habitus which readers are continually developing, in a Bourdieuian sense.

It was found that while there is a keen interest in reading the Holy Qura’n, there is a generally low incidence of reading in Arabic, which has serious implications for the current policy on the teaching of Arabic in the region. Two distinct subcategories of reasons for reading were also found, which I refer to as purposes and qana’a. Readers regularly refer to what I labeled qana’a for reading, which are distinct from attitude in that they do not appear to stem from reasoned action or purposes for reading. It is one key factor which distinguishes readers from non-readers. Other findings include:
• a three-stage reading journey showing how students become readers;
• an expansion of our understanding of encouragement as two distinct factors;
• the conditional element of attitudes toward reading whereby attitudes which were previously
considered negative or positive are really conditional;
• an exploration of the importance of affect vis-à-vis beliefs in bringing about reading.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z1021 General bibliography > Z1039 Books for special classes of persons, institutions, etc.
Divisions: pre Nov-2014 > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > English and Language Studies
Depositing User: Mr Andrew Hudson
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2012 16:14
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2016 10:02

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00