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Tracing reading to the dark side: investigating the policy producing reading and readers in detention homes
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
2018 (English)In: Discourse. Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, ISSN 0159-6306, E-ISSN 1469-3739, Vol. 39, no 6, p. 887-900Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Both inside and outside educational settings, reading literature is emphasized as something good, perhaps even something that makes us better people. This paper aims to open the 'black-boxed' conception of reading by studying how reading and (non)readers are conceptualized in relation to young people taken into custody. I examine a policy document describing a reading project in detention homes for young people as a case in which reading is perceived as having specific effects. Actor-network theory is used as a methodological approach to call attention to the way ideas, values, and knowledge about educational content are produced. The analysis shows that the seemingly coherent policy document produces radically different versions of what reading is and who the readers and non-readers are. I conclude that conceptualizations of reading and literacy always involve the creation of 'a dark side of reading'; the strong construction of 'reading as doing good' has marginalizing effects.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2018. Vol. 39, no 6, p. 887-900
Keywords [en]
Literature instruction, reading projects, literacy policy, critical literacy, marginalized readers, detention homes, actor-network theory
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-70038DOI: 10.1080/01596306.2017.1306486ISI: 000447703800005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-70038DiVA, id: diva2:1261370
Available from: 2018-11-07 Created: 2018-11-07 Last updated: 2018-12-20Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Where is the critical in literacy?: Tracing performances of literature reading, readers and non-readers in educational practice
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Where is the critical in literacy?: Tracing performances of literature reading, readers and non-readers in educational practice
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In many instances in society, educational and other, literature reading is emphasised as something that develops persons in positive ways. The present thesis explores this claim in relation to literature reading in educational practices. By tracing how values and critical aspects of reading are enacted, the purpose is both to problematize taken-for-granted truth claims about literature reading and to develop an understanding of the elements involved when reading, readers and critical aspects of reading are created. The studies focus on different educational practices; a teacher’s narrative about grading, information brochures about reading to children and the policy and practice of a reading project at special residential homes for detained youth in Sweden. In these practices, the thesis explores where and when the critical takes place, in what constellations and with what consequences. The thesis draws on critical literacy, where reading is regarded as taking action and having self-empowering potential. However, with help of a pragmatic and material semiotic approach, the investigations steps away from what is taken for granted about reading and about what critical means, and instead reading, readers and the critical are analysed as transactional effects.

The studies show how students can be placed at risk by rationales for reading literature that construct and establish them as lacking of culture or as literacy inadequate. The thesis further shows that the critical in literacy can be ambivalent as well as multiple, and it can be enacted by both human, discursive and material actors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro University, 2019. p. 120
Series
Örebro Studies in Education, ISSN 1404-9570 ; 59
Series
Örebro Studies in Educational Sciences with an Emphasis on Didactics ; 8
Keywords
Literary Didactics, Literature, Critical literacy, Critical space, Actor-network theory, Special residential homes
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-70228 (URN)978-91-7529-270-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-01-18, Örebro universitet, Forumhuset, Hörsal F, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-11-19 Created: 2018-11-19 Last updated: 2018-12-21Bibliographically approved

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Sundström Sjödin, Elin

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Citation style
  • apa
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Output format
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