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Sociological insights on the comparison of writing/reading on paper with writing/reading digitally

Fortunati, Leopoldina and Vincent, Jane (2014) Sociological insights on the comparison of writing/reading on paper with writing/reading digitally. Telematics and Informatics, 31 (1). pp. 39-51. ISSN 0736-5853

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.tele.2013.02.005


The aim of this article is to investigate the impact of digital technologies on writing and reading within an educational rather than business environment. It explores the affordances of writing and reading on paper and those of writing on a keyboard and reading on a screen. The analysis is based on an exploratory study carried out with a class of Masters Students in Multimedia Communication and Technologies of Information at the University of Udine (Italy) who were asked to write an essay on this topic. The methodology applied in this study is qualitative content analysis of the essays produced by the students. The principal results of this study show that reading and writing competencies are changing with the use of digital technologies but that paper and digital interactions are not mutually exclusive. Students are more productive textually with writing than with reading, however, they still see the virtues of writing on paper which they continue to use extensively. It appears that chirographic writing and paper is more multi-sensorial and meta-communicative than using the keyboard or screen. Further research is recommended to explore this complementarities of writing on paper and on screen/keyboard as well as the perceived changes in preferred sources of reading material.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2013 10:30
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2021 02:52

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