Hello Lovely Readers,
So continuing my belated celebration of Harry Potter and JK Rowling’s birthdays last week, I thought I would share some more scientific and heartfelt articles on the impact of the “Harry Potter Generation.” I know that the Harry Potter series has had a huge impact on my life, in many ways that I don’t even realize. It was one of the first things that Frances and I really bonded over, especially our attempt to attend the premier of the last movie. In preparation of that trip I asked many Facebook friends to write what Harry Potter had meant in their lives and how it had impacted them. Under a single umbrella shared by four people I read out these stories my friends had shared as rain soaked us while we hoped for a glimpse of the actors and Rowling. It is one of my happiest memories, and something that I will never forget.
The first article reminds me so much of my experience with Harry Potter. You can read the article here. The author talks about how the books shaped her life. How it influenced her friendships and helped in university. She talks about attending the book release parties, and how fan initiated things have expanded and broadened now that the books are over. It is a wonderful look at what it is like to be part of the Harry Potter Generation, the kids who grew up with Harry, Ron, Hermione, and the rest of the Hogwarts students.
The next three finds are all more science based, however I have not had time to track down the original scientific articles and read those myself. But the first of these articles is a brief one on Yahoo about Harry Potter‘s influence on people’s opinions on George Bush and his time in office. You can read the article here. It seems that many people/kids interpreted the actions of Voldemort and the corrupt Ministry of Magic as similar to Bush and his administration, and therefore equated them with each other. There is now guarantee that this would not have happened with other administrations, but there is also some evidence that readers of the series are more open-minded and tolerant, which relates to the next article.
A series of studies in Italy were recently published, and they looked at the psychological impact of reading Harry Potter. The three studies found that those that read the series (and usually they had to identify with Harry or not identify at all with Voldemort) were more tolerant and liberal in their views of things like immigration and LGBT issues. You can read the article here. The themes that the readers were exposed to with the prejudice against “mudbloods” and other species seemed to influence them to more tolerant attitudes.
The last find is a Buzzfeed article on 13 Lessons about Social Justice from Harry Potter. The article breaks down different social justice issues that Harry Potter can be used to illustrate and help educate people on. Some of these are easily related to the previous two finds, but the rest expand on those ideas. It seems to support the idea that Harry Potter influenced a generation to be more open-minded and aware of sociopolitical issues and the existence of bigots!
I know I am very proud to be part of the “Harry Potter Generation,” and I am glad it helped me be more open minded. Do you think it has impacted your life? Do you think certain books can help improve the people that read them?
Until next time,