Educating Young People through the Classics

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What films and TV series do young people enjoy most? What books do they read most? Do they prefer novels based on the ever-changing preferences of mainstream critics, or do they prefer classic masterpieces that have survived the test of time? How are young people’s views on love and friendship influenced by novels, movies, and television series? Are there significant differences in their choices due to cultural and linguistic traditions? A sample of 3,694 people between 18 and 29 years old was selected and interviewed to answer these questions in May-June 2018 in nine western countries: Argentina, Colombia, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain, the UK, and the USA. The Spanish pollster GAD 3 has carried out the survey under the direction of the Family and Media Center and with the financial support of the Elina Gianoli Gainza Chair of Family and Media Studies at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (Pontificia Università della Santa Croce, Rome). This book is hinged to the awareness that the West is in the midst of an epochal educational crisis, and the project is strengthened by the belief, which is shared by its promoters, that one of the ways out of the crisis is the recovery of narrative intelligence. Besides the presentation of the multinational survey results, the book offers a reflection on six great works of literature – later adapted to the big screen – that have addressed these universal themes in different times, in order to cultivate an appreciation of great stories and promote an educational culture concerned with the development of thought and the ability to critically analyze. Their authors share a strong educational sensitivity and experience in education and bring together their diverse media expertise. The authors and works mentioned are: Alessandro d’Avenia (The Odyssey by Homer, The Divine Comedy by Dante, and Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky); Natalia Sanmartín Fenollera (Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen); Armando Fumagalli (Anna Karenina by Lev Tolstoj); Travis Curtright (Much Ado about Nothing by William Shakespeare); Antonio Malo (Somerset Maugham’s The Painted Veil); and Andrea Monda (J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings).

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