Article | European Journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Adults | She reads, he reads: gender differences and learning through self-help books

Title:
She reads, he reads: gender differences and learning through self-help books
Author:
Scott McLean: University of Calgary, Canada Brandi Kapell: University of Calgary, Canada
DOI:
10.3384/rela.2000-7426.rela0138
Read article:
Full article (pdf)
Year:
2015
Volume:
6
Issue:
1
Pages:
55-72
No. of pages:
18
Publication type:
Article
Published:
2015-03-10


Despite considerable scholarly attention given to self-help literature, there has been a lack of research about the experience of self-help reading. In this article, we explore gender differences in self-help reading. We argue that men and women read self-help books for different reasons and with different levels of engagement, and that they experience different outcomes from reading. We provide evidence from in-depth interviews with 89 women and 45 men. Women are more likely to seek out books of their own volition, to engage in learning strategies beyond reading, and to take action as a result of reading. Men are more likely to read books relating to careers, while women are more likely to read books about interpersonal relationships. We argue that these gender differences reflect profound political-economic and cultural changes, and that such changes also help explain the gendered evolution of adult, continuing, and higher education in recent decades.

Keywords: Gender differences; popular culture; self-help reading; informal adult education

Volume 6, Issue: 1, Article 5, 2015

Author:
Scott McLean, Brandi Kapell
Title:
She reads, he reads: gender differences and learning through self-help books:
DOI:
10.3384/rela.2000-7426.rela0138
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Volume 6, Issue: 1, Article 5, 2015

Author:
Scott McLean, Brandi Kapell
Title:
She reads, he reads: gender differences and learning through self-help books:
DOI:
10.3384/rela.2000-7426.rela0138
Note: the following are taken directly from CrossRef
Citations:
  • Laura Brunea & Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson (2017). Read two books and call me next week: maximizing the book selection process in therapeutic reading. Journal of Poetry Therapy, 30(4): 248. DOI: 10.1080/08893675.2017.1364507
  • Scott McLea & Laurie Vermeylen (2017). From Getting Ahead to Getting Back on One’s Feet. Men and Masculinities, : 1097184X1772418. DOI: 10.1177/1097184X17724188
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