chapter  5
16 Pages

Researching Libraries, Literacies, and Lives: A Rhizoanalysis

ByDonna E.Alvermann

About the same time that I was introduced to Deleuze and Guattari’s (1980/1987) notion of the rhizome (and rhizoanalysis) in A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, I had just finished writing up the last in a series of 3-year-long qualitative studies begun while I was codirecting the National Reading Research Center. Although since published or in press, these studies (Alvermann et al., 1996; Alvermann, Commeyras, Young, Randall, & Hinson, 1997; Alvermann, Young, Green, & Wisenbaker, in press) continued to interest me, largely, I suppose, as a consequence of my having read A Thousand Plateaus. In part, I remained fascinated with Deleuze and Guattari’s notion of rhizoanalysis and the possibilities it might (or might not) hold for looking once again at the data that informed the three earlier studies. This fascination ultimately led me to use it as an analytic method for re-examining the findings from one of those studies-the one we (Alvermann et al., in press) referred to as the “Read and Talk Club” study-in preparation for writing the present chapter.