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Literacy in a social media culture: an ethnographic study of literary communication pratices

Joachim Vlieghe (2014)
abstract
Literacy is often considered a cornerstone of education that empowers people to participate in economic, social and cultural life. But what does it mean ―to be literate‖? Educational researchers, policy makers and teachers often feel tempted to present literacy as a fixed and universal set of skills, knowledge and attitudes (Livingstone, Bober, & Helsper, 2005; Buckingham, Banaji, Carr, Cranmer, & Willett, 2005). This conceptualization facilitates the construction of tests, benchmarks and teaching materials. However, scholars have demonstrated that literacy is not fixed or universal, but always situated in a social and cultural context (Street, 1993; Barton & Hamilton, 1998; Barton, Hamilton, & Ivanič, 2005). Based on this insight, they have questioned the dominant ―skills and benchmarks‖ approach in education which conceives literacy as neutral, monolithic and measurable (e.g. The New London Group, 1996; Gee, 2004). Scholars within New Literacies Studies2 have convincingly argued for an alternative approach to literacy in research, theory and education (see Street, 2003; Coiro, Knobel, Lankshear, & Leu, 2014). In the following sections of this introduction I will first present a brief overview of the empirical and theoretical insights that have contributed to the conception and development of New Literacies Studies. This analysis will also include a discussion of the two main questions that underlie much of the research from the New Literacies Studies tradition. In addition, I will focus more thoroughly on the historical connections between of literacy and media in general, and between literacy and literature in particular. In light of this discussion I will argue that the increasing ubiquity of social media presents a new opportunity for studying the transformations of literary culture and traditional print literacy. Finally, I will outline the research questions and focus of my research as well as the structure and argumentation of this dissertation.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
promoter
UGent
organization
year
type
dissertation
publication status
published
subject
keyword
culture, digital media, cultural participation, literacy, sociale media, geletterdheid, meervoudige geletterdheid, multiliteracies, literacies, reading, writing, mediation, empowerment, education, school, literature, literatuur, books, social media, boeken
pages
VIII, 184 pages
publisher
Ghent University. Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences
place of publication
Ghent, Belgium
defense location
Gent : Het Pand (zaal rector Blancquaert)
defense date
2014-11-18 16:00
project
User Empowerment in a Social Media Culture
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
D1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
5758458
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-5758458
date created
2014-11-19 17:15:59
date last changed
2017-01-16 10:47:08
@phdthesis{5758458,
  abstract     = {Literacy is often considered a cornerstone of education that empowers people to participate in economic, social and cultural life. But what does it mean \rule{1em}{1pt}to be literate{\textbardbl}? Educational researchers, policy makers and teachers often feel tempted to present literacy as a fixed and universal set of skills, knowledge and attitudes (Livingstone, Bober, \& Helsper, 2005; Buckingham, Banaji, Carr, Cranmer, \& Willett, 2005). This conceptualization facilitates the construction of tests, benchmarks and teaching materials. However, scholars have demonstrated that literacy is not fixed or universal, but always situated in a social and cultural context (Street, 1993; Barton \& Hamilton, 1998; Barton, Hamilton, \& Ivani\v{c}, 2005). Based on this insight, they have questioned the dominant \rule{1em}{1pt}skills and benchmarks{\textbardbl} approach in education which conceives literacy as neutral, monolithic and measurable (e.g. The New London Group, 1996; Gee, 2004). Scholars within New Literacies Studies2 have convincingly argued for an alternative approach to literacy in research, theory and education (see Street, 2003; Coiro, Knobel, Lankshear, \& Leu, 2014).
In the following sections of this introduction I will first present a brief overview of the empirical and theoretical insights that have contributed to the conception and development of New Literacies Studies. This analysis will also include a discussion of the two main questions that underlie much of the research from the New Literacies Studies tradition. In addition, I will focus more thoroughly on the historical connections between of literacy and media in general, and between literacy and literature in particular. In light of this discussion I will argue that the increasing ubiquity of social media presents a new opportunity for studying the transformations of literary culture and traditional print literacy. Finally, I will outline the research questions and focus of my research as well as the structure and argumentation of this dissertation.},
  author       = {Vlieghe, Joachim},
  keyword      = {culture,digital media,cultural participation,literacy,sociale media,geletterdheid,meervoudige geletterdheid,multiliteracies,literacies,reading,writing,mediation,empowerment,education,school,literature,literatuur,books,social media,boeken},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {VIII, 184},
  publisher    = {Ghent University. Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences},
  school       = {Ghent University},
  title        = {Literacy in a social media culture: an ethnographic study of literary communication pratices},
  year         = {2014},
}

Chicago
Vlieghe, Joachim. 2014. “Literacy in a Social Media Culture: An Ethnographic Study of Literary Communication Pratices”. Ghent, Belgium: Ghent University. Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences.
APA
Vlieghe, J. (2014). Literacy in a social media culture: an ethnographic study of literary communication pratices. Ghent University. Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Ghent, Belgium.
Vancouver
1.
Vlieghe J. Literacy in a social media culture: an ethnographic study of literary communication pratices. [Ghent, Belgium]: Ghent University. Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences; 2014.
MLA
Vlieghe, Joachim. “Literacy in a Social Media Culture: An Ethnographic Study of Literary Communication Pratices.” 2014 : n. pag. Print.