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Does dystopian fiction affect young readers? - SURVEY

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message 1: by Eleanor (last edited Nov 16, 2014 01:05AM) (new) - added it

Eleanor Katherine I'm doing an EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) at school at the moment, entitled "How has the dystopian genre influenced the political or ethical views of young people in modern society?", and it would really help me out if people could just really quickly fill out a quick survey for me - it's only 9 questions, none of which require too much thought! Here's the link - https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LV8R3LW

Thank you!

UPDATE: the survey is now closed - I've received 200 replies so thank you to everyone who participated!


Carolina Morales Done, wish you luck!


message 3: by Eleanor (new) - added it

Eleanor Katherine Carrie wrote: "Done, wish you luck!"

Thank you! Means a lot :)


Sorrel Completed it, good luck also :-D My sister did an EPQ and she says it's the best A Level decision she made


Renee E Done :-)

Nice to have someone explaining why they are asking for information instead of just starting phishing threads!

Hope your project goes well.


Khaoula done, good luck :)


M.K. Done, very cool topic!


Dwayne Fry All done.


Yasser Youssef sure. specially angry readers


message 10: by Eleanor (new) - added it

Eleanor Katherine Thanks everyone - the responses are very interesting so far! This'll be so beneficial to my project!


message 11: by Lora (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lora Hope I'm not too late. I added a couple thoughts my teen kids have observed over time concerning dystopias and trends in literature.


message 12: by Eleanor (new) - added it

Eleanor Katherine Lora wrote: "Hope I'm not too late. I added a couple thoughts my teen kids have observed over time concerning dystopias and trends in literature."

Definitely not too late - I think I found your comments about your teenagers; very interesting - not a common view, so that's even better!


Carol Eleanor wrote: "I'm doing an EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) at school at the moment, entitled "How has the dystopian genre influenced the political or ethical views of young people in modern society?", and i..."

Eleanor wrote: "I'm doing an EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) at school at the moment, entitled "How has the dystopian genre influenced the political or ethical views of young people in modern society?", and i..."

Glad to help out. Hope you post the results.


message 14: by Anna (new) - rated it 4 stars

Anna Done, best of luck with it :)


message 15: by Eleanor (new) - added it

Eleanor Katherine Anna wrote: "Done, best of luck with it :)"

Much appreciated :) totalled 84 responses so far!


Wiebke Done, good luck!


message 17: by Eleanor (new) - added it

Eleanor Katherine Wiebke wrote: "Done, good luck!"

Thank you! You're my 103rd replier - I'm really pleased this many people have replied!


Emelie Interesting topic! Just sent in my answers!


message 19: by Eleanor (new) - added it

Eleanor Katherine Emelie wrote: "Interesting topic! Just sent in my answers!"

Thanks :)


Ashley Just took it. I hope your project goes well! What an interesting topic!


message 21: by Eleanor (new) - added it

Eleanor Katherine Ashley wrote: "Just took it. I hope your project goes well! What an interesting topic!"

It's definitely going well so far, I've had such interesting responses - and I'd say about 95% of them all point towards dystopian novels having quite a big impact on young people, which was the result I was hoping for! Thank you for filling in the survey!


message 22: by Phil (last edited Nov 01, 2014 11:51PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Phil I think the topic of your project is interesting but I also think the opening statements of the survey are incorrect. Dystopian fiction isn't "mistaken for science fiction" it's a sub-category of it just like alternate history or space-opera are. And you're making some pretty big assumptions when you state what the purpose of it is. I'd say the main purpose of most of it since The Hunger Games came out is to sell a ton of books and that's the genre that's popular right now just like vampires and zombies have been. Teenagers have always thought that they're smarter than adults so stories showing them fix the societies that the grown-ups screwed up are appealing. Older books like 1984 or Brave New World may have been written as social or political commentary but for the most part the newer crop are just jumping on the YA bandwagon.
I think the questions you ask in the survey are all really good ones; it's just your opening statement that struck me as odd.


message 23: by Eleanor (new) - added it

Eleanor Katherine Phil wrote: "I think the topic of your project is interesting but I also think the opening statements of the survey are incorrect. Dystopian fiction isn't "mistaken for science fiction" it's a sub-category of ..."

I appreciate your comments , but I've done a fair amount of research into not just the dystopia genre in general, but also the reasons behind authors writing a lot of these stories. Suzanne Collins, for example, definitely wanted to make an impact with the message she was trying to portray to younger generations in The Hunger Games. The same goes for other more modern dystopia authors as well. You may be right about the genres being interwound rather than entirely separate, but often the dystopian genre isn't made to fit into a science fiction description and the genres merely overlap in certain aspects. I won't deny that they are often very similar, but there is definitely a difference. Thank you for your input, though, it's great to hear people's views!


message 25: by Eleanor (new) - added it

Eleanor Katherine Anarchic Rain wrote: "done ;)"

Thank you! :)


Raya راية done :)


Yvette Done (or more correctly, I had my 16 year old son fill it in) ;-)


Vickie I did not respond to the survey as I am 65 years old and do not have access to young people right now (except my dogs, who do not read dystopian novels...) It would be interesting if you could do a brief synopsis of your survey findings and conclusions.


Renee E Vickie wrote: "I did not respond to the survey as I am 65 years old and do not have access to young people right now (except my dogs, who do not read dystopian novels...) It would be interesting if you could do a..."

:D

I don't read dystopian novels to my Kharma, nor leave them around for her to find. I'm afraid it might give her ideas.


Saeed done


Andrea Leoni It's hard to answer to the survey because nowadays dystopian means YA books, while with the word dystopian I bear in mind The man in the high castle. I think in a way the distinction with science fiction might be more pronounced in this new crop of YA books, than in the old ones, 1984 and the others


Valerie Hemlin Done. Good luck.


Lewis Housley Done. Best of luck.


message 34: by Eleanor (new) - added it

Eleanor Katherine Thanks everyone! Close to 200 replies now!


Roland Howard I hope it affects them. That is the idea, surely.


message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

If you still believe in progress, dystopian literature has had absolutely no effect.


Roland Howard No but neither has anything else! Literature gnaws at the edge of culture and politics. Tell me novel that has changed the world.


Valerie Hemlin If literature does not have an effect, then why the long history of targeting, imprisoning and/or murdering of incendiary writers. I.e.: Those writers who go against the predominating political or social leadership of the time. For example ~ Plato, Leonardo da Vinci, most of the Russian writers during Stalin's purge, the book burnings in Nazi Germany (and the many writers condemned to concentration camps) or even the McCarthy "Red Hunt" in the United States targeting many prominent writers? If the arts and literature did not affect people, the political leaders would not be afraid of them. Is there any one book that has changed the world? Try the bible, for better or worse, it DID change the course of history.


Roland Howard But all the books that have had a demonstrable influence are primarily political, philosophical, scientific or theological. Is there a work of fiction or a CREATIVE, creative work that has been so influential?


message 40: by Ashley (last edited Nov 17, 2014 05:43PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ashley Roland wrote: "But all the books that have had a demonstrable influence are primarily political, philosophical, scientific or theological. Is there a work of fiction or a CREATIVE, creative work that has been so ..."

I don't know if anyone could pick out one novel that has changed the world, but I do believe that novels as a whole certainly have had a massive impact, especially after the increased availability of affordable paperbacks post-WWII. But a novel doesn't have to change cultures or advance science - they just have to move people, who then change and advance the future.

How much influence a creative work has is so difficult to measure. It's so much easier with political, philosophical, scientific, and theological works that are academic articles or treatises. This scientific paper advanced that procedure, that theological work changed this doctrine which affected that political ideal, etc. But what about all of the novels that those writers read when they're not hard at work on their treatises and studies? What about the novels those scientists read, encouraging them to think outside the box and wonder if this or that would really be possible? There's no real way to measure that and I'm not entirely sure that one could claim that creative works such as novels (or even television shows and movies, if we're talking "creative work" that isn't a book) don't have a demonstrable influence, as you put it. Again, impressions left upon the mind aren't measurable, so we can't really say that novels haven't had a great deal of influence on humanity.

Creative fiction can plant ideas and can make the reader think. That is where their influence is and that is why I think it can be just as influential as any political, philosophical, scientific, or theological work available. Not to mention those books that cross the boundaries by using allegory, satire, and other such literary techniques to make ideas accessible and transformative. Novels combine so many different things to weave into a story that they can be political, philosophical, scientific, or theological in their own ways, as well. For instance, where do we draw a line saying that one work is "primarily political" or saying that it's "primarily creative" even if it has a strong political element and message?


Valerie Hemlin Ashley wrote: "Roland wrote: "But all the books that have had a demonstrable influence are primarily political, philosophical, scientific or theological. Is there a work of fiction or a CREATIVE, creative work th..."
Excellent argument Ashley. I could point to Huxley, Orwell, Dumas, Mary Shelly, Poe, Mark Twain, Vonegut, J.R.R.Tolkein, C.S.Lewis . . The list goes on and on. I think the lines are very fine. Many scientists did choose their fields of study because of the fictional works that fired their imagination. So, I think we can say that fictional works DO influence society.


Ashley Valerie wrote: "Ashley wrote: "Roland wrote: "But all the books that have had a demonstrable influence are primarily political, philosophical, scientific or theological. Is there a work of fiction or a CREATIVE, c..."

Really, I'm not even sure what Roland is defining as "change the world." Does he mean the entire world? Or would it be enough to just change a corner of it? Or even just to change one person's world? Because that one person will go on to interact with so many different people and the way that they are changed will change those interactions and just snowball from there.


Roy Helge Writers such as Huxley, Orwell, Dumas, Mary Shelly, Poe, Mark Twain, Vonegut, J.R.R.Tolkein, C.S.Lewis may have had an impact on the society in their time, but what makes these writers books remembered today is not their world changing ability but their universal story quality. These writers survived time, and keep being a part of our cultural heritage that define our current culture and frame of reference.

However, lots of fictional books have had immense political influence, but they have not necessarily been relevant beyond their own time. A good example that I know of is "Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson". A norwegian writer that wrote romantic literature about a hundred and some years ago. His books and his person was immensely important as a political force for the nation building in norway and the separation from sweden. But people do not go about reading his works today unless it is for literary studies. His books aren't relevant today, they do not push the same strings they did and they do not have the political impact. They're still literary interesting, but not politically relevant.

Books that stand the test of time, even if they had strong political impact at their release time, do not necessary have ny political significance now, but they do have literary significance. And the classics we still read are classics because they are in themselves important stories that trancends time and specific political climates.


message 44: by Owen (new) - rated it 5 stars

Owen H. Lewis The Mark of Man

This about sums it up...

Owen H. Lewis


Roland Howard Valerie, by "changing the world" I suppose I mean "lead to a lasting cultural change", even in a corner of the world. One person's world is too small.

In relation to Ashley's thoughtful comments, it strikes me that the whole purpose of satire (in fiction, poetry or play) is to point out folly and lead to change but has it worked? Did Catch 22 contribute to the anti-Vietnam zeitgest? Probably.


Valerie Hemlin Roy, I disagree. These books are not remembered JUST for their literary excellence, but also for their perception. The Diary of Ann Frank, is still read in public schools and moves many students to question how that political climate could allow such horror. It is not a literary masterpiece, yet it still speaks to us today and serves as a reminder of posibilities. And because a book stands the test of time is precisely the reason it can still influence politically or culturally. If it still touches just one person, as Ashley so eloquently put it, that "person will go on to interact with so many different people and the way that they are changed will change those interactions and just snowball from there." Politics comes from the Greek: πολιτικός politikos, meaning "of, for, or relating to citizens" and is the practice and theory of influencing other people on a global, civic or individual level. So I maintain that politics begins with the individual.

And Roland, Yes, Catch 22 did contribute to the anti-Vietnam spirit of the era. So are you playing Devil's advocate or offering supporting evidence? Change, by definition, is not static. Everything changes, but I still maintain that literature, even genre fiction adds to the cultural and political change and climate of the world, even if that climate swings like a pendulam ~ you can bet that art is not only its reflection, but a significant catalyst!


Roland Howard Valerie: Well, yes, in general terms. But I'm wondering what novel, play or poem has caused a paradigm shift which has affected culture? I am playing Devil's advocate (Iwant to find the book that confounds me) but I'm also raising a serious point. Animal Farm, Heart of Darkness, The Plague (Camus) , where is the book that we can point to and say THAT was significant?


message 48: by Renee E (last edited Nov 18, 2014 01:28PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Renee E You may find, Roland, that it's not ONE book so much as it is a literary movement.

Many pebbles creating many ripples, creating waves.

Which is a reason Eleanor's research premise is interesting.


Ashley Roland wrote: "... where is the book that we can point to and say THAT was significant?"

Where is the point at which we can say something is significant? What are your standards for it? Because my standards regarding significance are probably different from yours or anyone else on this thread. That's part of the problem with trying to find that one book that you're looking for. It's not exactly objective.


Valerie Hemlin I agree, Renee. It is not just one book... Many pebbles make many waves. It is also very restrictive to say point me to just one book. As Ashley points out, each different reader's tastes are going to be different as well as the cultural viewpoints that affect their tastes as well as their judgement.

For all these and all previously stated arguments, I agree Renee, this project is extremely well-thought out. And will prove to be fascinating! I hope she shares her thesis with us. It has certainly been thought provoking.


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