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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The responses of fifth graders to Japanese pictorial texts
by Sakoi, Junko, Ph.D., The University of Arizona, 2015, 278; 3700794
Abstract (Summary)

This study explores the responses of twelve fifth graders to Japanese pictorial texts— manga (Japanese comics), anime (Japanese animations), kamishibai (Japanese traditional visual storytelling), and picture books — and their connections to Japanese culture and people.

This study took place Cañon Elementary School in Black Canyon City in Arizona. The guiding research questions for this study were: How do children respond to Japanese pictorial texts? and What understandings of Japanese culture are demonstrated in children's inquiries and responses to Japanese pictorial texts? The study drew on reader response theory, New Literacy Studies, and multimodality. Data collection included participant-observation, videotaped/audiotaped classroom discussions and interviews, participants' written and artistic artifacts, ethnographic fieldnotes, and reflection journals. Results revealed that children demonstrated four types of responses including (1) analytical, (2) personal, (3) intertexual, and (4) cultural. These findings illustrate that the children actively employed their popular culture knowledge to make intertextual connections as part of meaning making from the stories. They also showed four types of cultural responses including (1) ethnocentrism, (2) understanding and acceptance, (3) respect and appreciation and valuing, and (4) change. This study makes a unique contribution to reader response as it examines American children's cultural understandings and literary responses to Japanese pictorial texts (manga, anime, kamishibai, and picture books).

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Short, Kathy
Commitee: Betts, David, Gilmore, Perry, Ruiz, Richard
School: The University of Arizona
Department: Language, Reading & Culture
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 76/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Elementary education, Curriculum development
Keywords: Anime, Japanese popular culture, Manga, Multimodality, New literacy studies, Reader response
Publication Number: 3700794
ISBN: 978-1-321-70898-1
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