Singapore University of Social Sciences

Why Read?

Why Read? (HBC207)

Applications Open: 01 May 2024

Applications Close: 15 June 2024

Next Available Intake: July 2024

Course Types: Modular Undergraduate Course

Language: English

Duration: 6 months

Fees: $1391.78 View More Details on Fees

Area of Interest: Humanities and Social Sciences

Schemes: Alumni Continuing Education (ACE)

Funding: To be confirmed

School/Department: School of Humanities & Behavioural Sciences


HBC207 Why Read? traces the evolution of reading as an essential activity throughout the history of mankind. While the vehicle of information sharing may have evolved from cave paintings to handwritten manuscripts and from books to social media, much still rests on one’s ability to read in order for ideas to be communicated. This has remained unchanged through time. The course not only introduces students to the importance of reading in everyday life, it also seeks to show students how reading can bring about positive or negative consequences. Through the act of reading influential books, e.g., religious texts, the Communist Manifesto, etc we can be socialised to be good members of society or be radicalised to do unimaginable acts, and history is replete with examples. Lastly, reading – like exercise – can also have health benefits. Over the course of six weeks, students will come to appreciate that reading is a skill that is not only pertinent to the individual, but also to the community and society.

Level: 2
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: EVERY REGULAR SEMESTER
E-Learning: BLENDED - Learning is done ENTIRELY online using interactive study materials in Canvas. Students receive guidance and support from online instructors via discussion forums and emails. There are no face-to-face sessions. If the course has an exam component, this will be administered on-campus.


  • Why Read?
  • Reading & Human Society
  • What Happens When One Reads?
  • Reading as Socialisation (1): Shaping How We Behave
  • Reading as Socialisation (2): Cultural Transmission
  • Reading as Communication (1): Propaganda
  • Reading as Communication (2): Radicalisation
  • Reading for Mobilisation (1): Social Movements
  • Reading for Mobilisation (2): Political Movements
  • Reading & Health (1): Longer Life Expectancy
  • Reading & Health (2): Social Isolation
  • Reading & Industry 4.0
  • The Future of Reading as an Activity

Learning Outcome

  • Recognise the pertinence of reading as a skill in everyday life.
  • Identify reading as a tool for positive and negative change.
  • Discuss why reading will continue to be relevant despite social and technological changes.
  • Describe how reading can shape one’s outlook, attitudes and behaviour.
  • Present the benefits of reading from a behavioural science perspective.
  • Show that reading is a social skill that can have both positive and negative consequences on society at large.
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