chapter  Chapter Four
18 Pages

Literacy Practices Outside of School: Adults’ Beliefs and Their Responses to “Street Texts”

WithRuth Garner, Richard Hansis

This chapter looks at literacy in a rather novel way. It also looks at how adults respond to fliers, those mostly unremarkable texts that one encounters frequently on the street. One way of explaining the 50 adults’ preference for happy talk in street texts is to acknowledge that the students among them are required to read informational text in large quantities for graduate work. Perhaps the adults expect that, outside of school and work, they should be able to indulge in what L. B. Resnick called “pleasurable literacy”. Beliefs about what people are like, what the world is like, and what actions have value have been shown to influence readers’ evaluations of plot and character in school narratives. The 50 adults gave very embellished descriptions of flier distributors and sites, particularly for the texts that they decided to toss. The clearest example of this pattern emerged for the riot flier, which no adult kept.