Reframing Sociocultural Research on Literacy: Identity, Agency, and Power, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Reframing Sociocultural Research on Literacy

Identity, Agency, and Power, 1st Edition

Edited by Cynthia Lewis, Patricia E. Enciso, Elizabeth Birr Moje


226 pages

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pub: 2007-03-28
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This landmark volume articulates and develops the argument that new directions in sociocultural theory are needed in order to address important issues of identity, agency, and power that are central to understanding literacy research and literacy learning as social and cultural practices. With an overarching focus on the research process as it relates to sociocultural research, the book is organized around two themes: conceptual frameworks and knowledge sources.

*Part I, “Rethinking Conceptual Frameworks,” offers new theoretical lenses for reconsidering key concepts traditionally associated with sociocultural theory, such as activity, history, community, and the ways they are conceptualized and under-conceptualized within sociocultural theory.

*Part II, “Rethinking Knowledge and Representation,” considers the tensions and possibilities related to how research knowledge is produced, represented, and disseminated or shared—challenging the locus of authority in research relationships, asking who is authorized to be a legitimate knowledge source, for what purposes, and for which audiences or stakeholders.

Employing the lens of “critical sociocultural research,” this book focuses on the central role of language and identity in learning and literacy practices. It is intended for scholars, researchers, and graduate students in literacy education, social and cultural psychology, social foundations of education, educational anthropology, curriculum theory, and qualitative research in education.


Winner of the 2007 NRC Edward Fry Book Award

"Cynthia Lewis, Pat Enciso, and Elizabeth Moje have published thought-provoking writing that pushes against the deracinated, agency-free borders of some, though by no means all, current socio-cultural theory….The book is targeted at other researchers and graduate students; as I read it, I began to see its utility for pre- and inservice teachers as well." -- Language Arts, Vol. 86, No. 1, September 2008

"This volume offers a critical sociocultural research framework that challenges the taken-for-granted positions in literacy research and scholarship, and therefore broadens the scope of research in the field of literacy learning and practice. This volume is also of considerable pedagogical significance because it helps us better understand how disenfranchised literacy learners negotiate and construct their social identity, agency and power through their learning processes."--Jie Zhao, Pedagogies: An International Journal, October 2009

Table of Contents

Contents: B. Street, Foreword. Preface and Acknowledgements. C. Lewis, P. Enciso, E. Moje, Introduction: Reframing Sociocultural Research on Literacy. Part I: Rethinking Conceptual Frameworks. E.B. Moje, C. Lewis, Examining Opportunities to Learn Literacy: The Role of Critical Sociocultural Literacy Research. P. Enciso, Narrations of History and Transformation in Sociocultural Theories. R. Rogers, C. Fuller, 'As If You Heard It From Your Momma': Reconstructing Histories of Participation With Literacy Education in an Adult Education Class. K.D. Gutiérrez, Commentary. Part II: Rethinking Knowledge and Representation. M.F. Orellana, Moving Words and Moving Worlds: The Challenges of Being “In the Middle”. J. Guerra, Out of the Valley: Transcultural Repositioning as Rhetorical Practice in Research. B. Fecho, S. Meacham, Research Sites as Transactional Spaces. L. Moll, E. Rubenstein-Ávila, Commentary.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Research
EDUCATION / Philosophy & Social Aspects