Literature amongst older generation

     After meeting with my group members, and after several discussions on Whatsapp – we agreed on a common theme: language. The ways in which each of our projects diverge are based on our personal interests and interpretations of the acquired data. Theresa will be talking about the lack of intersection between school curriculum and the books read in people’s free time and school time, Marriane will be looking at the ways that transnational theory and Lebanon’s history of colonial and mandate powers have affected the different kinds of educational systems we have laid out for us, and I will specifically be talking about the ways canonicity and languages intersect and how differences arose between the older generation and the new generation. Although, our second blog posts will mostly be dedicated to looking at the ways we could start to analyze the data. 

   My own Data

As mentioned in my previous blog, I believe many aspects could be focused on. In order to demonstrate the canonocity awareness in Lebanon, I will go through some of the questions that were treated in my first blog.

Since most of my intervenes consist of people who graduated before year 2001, I’m going to focus on the older generation that graduated in the following years: 1957-1965-1968-1975-1981-2001-2004-2007-2015. To narrow down the process, it will be interesting to study how the canonicity awareness of those people during those years varied in private and public schools and within the generations.

Hypothesis 1: After questioning the intervenes whether they read books during high school in their free time or in their school time, and considering their cultural and intellectual background; the results found in the spreadsheet show that none out of 10 intervenes that were enrolled in public schools read books in their free time. While only two out of 8 people who went to a private school read in their free time. However, this following analyze is not enough to support my argument, therefore I will look at more people that graduated during the 90’s. I gathered all the 26 people that graduated before 1995 and the last 26 that graduated during the 21th (results shared in the third blog).


I created this Excel table in order to differentiate between the older and new generation in function of free/school time. Before 1995, 10 people out of 26 read during their free time, while 16 read during school time. In addition, after 1995, 14 people out of 26 read during their free time while 12 read during their school time. In both cases, the number is added by  4 people, which shows that the two generations equally read during their free time and school time. To be more specific, I will be looking in the third blog at the same differences but added by a private/public school label.

In addition, many people believe that the education offered in the Lebanese public schools is not as a good the private schools’ one (hypothesis 1). This realization allows me to argue that the Lebanese people seek the best education in town. However, after having interviewed people who went to a private school, I have come to realize that the public schools’ curricula and canonicity awareness are not as bad as everyone think. I would like to mention that French plays and novels read in high schools by the Lebanese people are repetitively read through out the years in both private and public schools. Although some public schools does not give enough importance to French and mostly English literature as private schools, some of them still require students to read very interesting and well-known novels. For example, Le Malade Immaginaire/The Imaginary Invalid is read in both schools. In addition, when it comes to French Literature, books by Moliere, Jean de La Fontaine, Gustave Flaubert and Pierre Corneille were read in public schools.

Main focus 

Another finding that will be interesting to focus on is books that are read in French language. Thus I will compare the older generation’s reading vs. the younger generation, and investigate if French, as a language, is still important as it were after the French colonization in Beirut until the 21th century. The younger generation, graduated between 2001 and above, read books such as Frankeistein, Anna Karenina, The count of Monte Cristo, Veronica decides to die, Les Miserables and L’avare. However, the older generation that graduated in between 1957 and 1981, read books that are mostly French. Out of twelve people who graduated during the 20th century, only two of them read English. I believe that this association within French/English books is very significant since the number of people that read French is higher than the ones in the younger generation part. In order to have equal results, I will look closer at a larger scale of the data, which will equalize the number of intervenes in the older and the new generation ; allowing the research to be more reliable and significant.

Therefore, I will broaden the research on my main focus in the third blog, and compare the books that were read among the older and new generation. Then, I will analyze the results I obtained by adding a Palladio graph, which allows me to complete my research and support my argument. I addition I will tend to look at the schools people went to during the older and the new generation. 

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