chapter  8
18 Pages

Literacies, Identities, and Discourses

One of the central themes of the so-called New Literacy Studies (see Barton, 1994; Gee, 1996, 2000; and Street, 1995, for programmatic statements) is this: If you want to ask questions about literacy, don’t look at reading and writing in them­ selves, but as they are embedded within specific social practices. In a narrow sense, reading and writing are technologies, and like all technologies they have no effects in and of themselves, but only specific (and different) effects as they mediate differ­ ent activities within different social practices.