Three readers of Ibsen in Hong Kong: A longitudinal study of self-reflection

Matthew William DECOURSEY, Bidisha BANERJEE

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review


This longitudinal study examines three female Chinese students' responses to Ibsen's A Doll's House at a Hong Kong university. We interviewed them about their attitudes towards dating, marriage and divorce, before reading the play; we then elicited responses to a first reading. Finally, we interviewed them after six hours of class discussion. Seven years later, we interviewed the same students about their memory of the play and any moment in that time when they might have recalled it in relation to their own experience. We found the terminology recently proposed by Koek et al. for discussing self-reflection in the study of literature effective in making sense of our data. Their proposed categories of de-automatisation and (re)construction represent processes that are demonstrably present in our interview data. In addition, our data suggest a particular role for metaphor in remembering not only meaning but also the dynamic change of meaning within the play. Copyright © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-163
JournalEnglish in Education
Issue number2
Early online dateJul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2021


DeCoursey, M., & Banerjee, B. (2021). Three readers of Ibsen in Hong Kong: A longitudinal study of self-reflection. English in Education, 55(2), 149-163. doi: 10.1080/04250494.2020.1776105


  • Reading
  • Self-reflection
  • Literature education
  • Henrik Ibsen
  • Metaphor


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