Hyper-Diversity in Sampling Strategy for Reader Response Studies in an Urban Context

Melina Ghasseminejad, Anneke Sools, Luc Herman, María Ángeles Martínez

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Research on readers of literary fiction is predominantly carried out by institutions situated in culturally complex cities. However, the participant selection process for these empirical studies often overlooks the city’s cultural diversity. Therefore, this article aims to present a participant sampling strategy for empirical reader response research, focusing on urban readers in a European context, with Antwerp as the study location. Opting for a qualitative approach and considering the hyper-diverse nature of major cities, we advocate for a purposeful sampling strategy. We suggest using a social milieu rather than traditional descriptive markers by recruiting from different neighbourhoods, as neighbourhoods have their own culture and play an important role in a person’s identity. Turning to local libraries for participant recruitment means a step towards studying actual readers and will lead to a deeper insight into the effects of texts on readers. Moreover, apart from obtaining a wider variety of idiosyncratic responses, this can also result in a deeper understanding of (sub)cultural responses to narratives.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Information, Diversity and Inclusion
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • empirical studies
  • hyper-diversity
  • participant selection
  • qualitative research methods


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