Love, Friendship and Storytelling Talking with Young People about the Best-Loved Works of Their Generation

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This book explores the results of a focus group study about how young people grasp the messages about friendship and love communicated through the stories they read, how these concepts influence their own values, and how they assess a piece of literature.
On September 24th and 25th, 2021, at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, the literary discussions recommenced, which were initiated by Educating Young People through the Classics. Love, Friendship and Storytelling—and temporarily suspended by the Covid pandemic—with focus groups examining books, movies, and TV series popular with young people. The works had been chosen based on a representative study, done two years prior, with a sample of 3,700 subjects ages 18-29 from five European countries (France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, and Spain) and four countries from the Americas (Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, and the United States).
There were focus group discussions regarding the most popular works of fiction (according to the survey responses): for the conversation on books, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone; for the conversation on movies, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and Titanic; for the conversation on TV series, The Big Bang Theory and Thirteen Reasons Why.
Research leaders of the discussions present the focus groups’ results in chapter two and three, and the book’s editor has contributed an introductory essay—Storytelling and character formation. Talking with young people about books and movies—about the relationship between literature and character formation, outlining the theoretical framework for the whole project.

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