Do you want to put an end to bigotry, ultra-nationalism, and racism? It might be easier than you think. Try reading Harry Potter.
No, it’s not magic. According to the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, there’s more to the wildly successful series than just a good story. The tale of a mistreated orphan boy who discovers extraordinary magical abilities is essentially an epic metaphor for the battle between merit and privilege, between status and stature, as pure-blooded wizards contend with half-bloods and “mudbloods” for supremacy over the magical world.
By identifying with the heroes of the story who grapple with the conflict between ancestral identity and the content of character, readers will likely emerge a little more heroic themselves.
That’s what Professor Loris Vezzali and his team of researchers from Italy’s University of Modena and Reggio Emilia concluded after a series of studies which demonstrated how children exposed to the passages dealing with prejudice displayed improved attitudes toward minorities and other social classes. According to Scientific American, this research supports an earlier study in Science, which “found that reading literary fiction, as opposed to popular fiction or nonfiction, results in keener social perception and increased empathy.”
This really should come as no surprise. Literary fiction seeks to educate as well as entertain. The combination of relaxing the mind, the willing suspension of disbelief, and the integration of moral themes, allows for the better internalization of values. Of course, the benefits are dependent upon the soundness of those values.
But Harry Potter hits the mark with almost unwavering accuracy.
Read the whole article at: http://www.learning-mind.com/reading-harry-potter/