Exploring dyslexia, literacies and identities on Facebook

Barden, Owen (2014) Exploring dyslexia, literacies and identities on Facebook. Digital Culture & Education. ISSN 1836-8301

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Abstract

This paper examines the role of identities in underpinning and activating literacies learning in a small class of adolescent students labelled with dyslexia. It derives from a project in which teacher-researcher and student-participants co-constructed a Facebook group page about the students’ scaffolded research into dyslexia. The study investigated an apparent paradox: that although literacy demands are often cited as barriers to learning and participation for students labelled with dyslexia, social networking technologies seem to motivate at least some such students to willingly undertake significant amounts of reading and writing. Two interrelated potential explanations are investigated to attempt to resolve this paradox. Firstly, that the social and collaborative nature of Facebook literacy events and practices, which promotes a sense of shared identity amongst the participants, is itself motivating. Secondly, that identity strongly influences engagement with texts. Three intertwined strands of identity work emerged from analysis of the data. These three strands underpinned the students’ literacy events and practices. Each strand is elaborated, through reference to interview data and classroom dialogue. The study concludes that Facebook offered an affinity space in which the students inhabited projective identities which reciprocally shaped their literacy practices

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: Digital Cultures and Education (DCE) is a 100% open access journal, available online at: http://www.digitalcultureandeducation.com/
Keywords: Facebook; dyslexic; identity; adolescents; social network site; new literacies
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Education > Disability and Education
Depositing User: Susan Blagbrough
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2016 16:00
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2016 16:00
URI: http://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/741

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