RESEARCH NOTES AN ANALYSIS OF READING HABITS AND PARTICIPATION IN...
RESEARCH NOTES
AN ANALYSIS OF READING HABITS
AND PARTICIPATION IN EXTRA-
The sample was made up of students studying
CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES OF
in undergraduate, graduate1 and postgraduate
RESIDENTIAL STUDENTS
classes. The age of the respondents ranged
from 16 to 33 years. No discrimination was
Mrs. B. BANERJEE*
made between the science and arts students.
The questionnaire method was adopted to
The study was undertaken to understand elicit information followed by interviews
the various aspects of life in a hostel. Three wherever it was considered necessary.
factors, namely: 1. the study habits; The Central College Hostel for Boys
2. participation in extra-curricular activities; consists of three blocks. The first block was
and 3. preference for hostel life were consi-
occupied by postgraduate students and re-
dered for investigation.
search students. The other two blocks were
METHOD
occupied by graduates and undergraduates.
Students occupying the second block proved
The study covered a period of four months to be non-cooperative in the beginning,
from January 1967 to April 1967. The though after a little persuasion they willingly
Central College Hostel for Boys was selected filled the questionnaire. All the students
as the venue for the survey. A twenty-percent interviewed were students studying in colleges
sample was drawn at random out of the two either affiliated to or belonging to the
hundred and twenty-one students residing in Bangalore University.
the hostel at the time of the survey. A list
of the students was drawn up and every fifth
The students selected for the survey came
name was selected to comprise the sample from various occupational backgrounds like
unit. Accordingly, forty-four students were Agriculture, Business, Teaching, Banking and
selected as respondents. Out of the forty- Estate Ownership. 87.5% of them came from
four students two left the hostel and two places other than Bangalore. The majority
others refused to co-operate. This reduced belonged to the middle income group.
the sample to forty. But, as the number
represented more than one-third of the
The room-wise distribution of students in
universe it was considered quite representative. the hostel was as follows :
TABLE 1
ROOM-WISE DISTRIBUTION OF STUDENTS
1 seated 2 seated 3 seated 4 seated Total
No. of respondents 0 7 29 4 40
Percentage of respondents 0 17.5 72.5 10.0 100
Dr. (Mrs.) B. Banerje'e is Lecturer, Department of Sociology, Bangalore University,
Bangalore.
T h e author is grateful to Mr. T. Rangadhamiah for his assistance in the collection
of the data for this paper.
1 T h e term 'graduate ' is here used to indicate students who are studying in the degree
classes.

88
M R S . B. BANERJEE
The Central College Hostel was started
STUDY HABITS
in 1916. For the past four years the total
The following tables illustrate the attitude
strength of the hostel has remained between of the students towards study and their
215 and 220.
reading habits.
TABLE 2
ATTITUDES OF STUDENTS TOWARDS STUDY AND READING HABITS

A N ANALYSIS O F READING H A B I T S
89
T h e first question was asked to find out hostel life favourable for study, as compared
whether a student found it difficult to concen-
to his home, 6 2 . 5 % voted for the hostel.
trate if a second person was present. 7 7 . 5 %
T h e fifth question, "Do you feel that the
of the respondents answered no and 2 2 . 5 % non prescribed hours for visitors clash with
stated that t h e presence of a second person your studies ?" elicited an answer in the
distracted them.
positive by 5 7 . 5 % . 4 2 . 5 % of them answered
To the second question whether a reading-
no. This question was asked to find out how
aloud room-mate was a handicap, all the far outside disturbances interfered with the
40 respondents answered yes.
reading schedule of students.
T h e third question, namely, whether
T h e sixth question, "Have you kept a time-
reading aloud helped concentration was table apart from the prescribed time" yielded
asked mainly to find out the percentage of 4 2 . 5 % response in the positive. Interestingly
students who were actually in the habit of enough this query revealed t h a t there were
reading aloud, as also to see how far it no fixed hours for reading in the hostel.
disturbed the room-mate or the room-mates;
To the query regarding the mode of study
it was found that 4 5 % were actually in the the hostelites had adopted, 62.5% of them
habit of reading aloud. When further stated that they did individual reading,
enquiry was made regarding the distraction 17.5% did combined reading, whereas 2 0 %
caused to their room-mates, the answer adopted both. On being questioned those who
given was either they studied under the trees adopted combined study stated that such a
or studied when their room-mates were not mode facilitated better understanding of
studying or were out of the room.
tough subjects and that it was easier to
T h e fourth question, "Do you feel that the remember what one read when it was dis-
hostel is congenial place for study ?" was cussed with another, Table 4 indicates the
asked to find out how far a student felt the preferences.
To the question: 'Which days of the week 7 a.m. to 12 noon. On working days the time
you do maximum reading ?' 6 0 % voted for schedule kept was 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday. T h e time devoted for to 11 p.m. A sample of the study time table
the same was in the morning, usually from is given below.
1. At the' time of writing the University had decided to convert the Hostel into
a University Lady Students' Hostel and the boys students would be shifted elsewhere.
2. T h e room-wise distribution of students indicated 7 2 . 5 % three-seated rooms.
- T a b l e No. 1.

90
M R S . B . B A N E R J E E
T h e answers to the question, " W h a t room and library. Provision of two-seated
according to you should be the pattern of rooms scored second. T h e Table No. 5 indi-
reading facilities ?" revealed a favourable cates the various suggestions.
response for the provision of a good reading
TABLE 5
SUGGESTIONS REGARDING THE PROVISION OF READING FACILITIES
I I . Participation in extra-curricular
conferences, was asked to find out in what
activities
way the student spend to his spare time.
Fixed activities both academic and non-
A slightly structured question like staying academic was given as a choice. T h e Table
in the hostel facilitate sports, meetings and 6 shows the various activities and the per-
TABLE 6
S T A Y I N G I N T H E H O S T E L FACILITIES G R E A T E R P A R T I C I P A T I O N I N :

AN ANALYSIS OF READING HABITS
91
STAYING IN THE HOSTEL FACILITIES GREATER PARTICIPATION IN:
centage of preferences. 62.5% of the
In the order of preference sports scored
respondents participated in sports; 50% the highest (62.5%) followed by college and
participated in meetings and conferences. hostel functions (60%) and restaurant-going
Participation in college and hostel functions, (60%). Attending meetings and conferences
restaurant-going seem to be quite popular occupied the fourth place (50%) movie-
activities of the students as 60% of the going (47.5%) Listening to music (37.5%)
students voted for the above. Strangely seeing dramas (17.5%) occupied the fifth,
enough moviegoing was not resorted to very sixth and the seventh places respectively.
much as 47.5% stated that they frequented
the cinema houses often.
CONCLUSIONS
The individual scoring regarding participa-
tion in more than one activity ranged from
1. Hosteljife is considered favourable for
2 to 7. 77.5% took interest in two or more study, provided adequate facilities were given.
activities, while 22.5% preferred a single
2. Hostel life facilitated participation in
activity as a recreational measure.
extra-curricular activities.