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Avid versus struggling readers:: Co-construed pupil identities in school booktalk.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Child and Youth Studies.
Linköping University.
2009 (English)In: Language and Literature, ISSN 0963-9470, E-ISSN 1461-7293, Vol. 18, no 3, 281-299 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In the present article, we argue for a combination of reader reception studies and discursive psychology that we would like to call discursive reception studies: that is, discursive-psychological analyses of reader reception data. Such approaches provide possibilities to analyse the role of social interaction in the co-construction of the reading of a given book (or talk on a film or other reader reception data). Drawing on detailed analyses of video-recorded teacher-led booktalk sessions in grades 4—7, pupils’ self presentations and other types of co-construed categorizations of readers are examined and discussed in relation to the pupils’ and teachers’ co-construction of two contrasting categories of reader positions: avid readers (bokslukare ; literally, book-devourers), on the one hand, and struggling readers , on the other. These categorizations in turn involve two different sets of continua in terms of the participants’ (pupils’) spontaneous positionings: one based on motivation (willing versus unwilling readers) and one based on reading speed (fast versus slow readers). Both sets of contrasting categories involve implicit local hierarchies, yet these two continua do not necessarily overlap. An important finding is that the position of a fast reader does not imply the position of a book-lover. Through detailed examinations of the participants’ co-construed local hierarchies in booktalk, this study documents ways in which discursive reception studies may contribute to a deeper understanding of reading as a situated social practice. Our findings have implications for teacher training, with respect to the promotion of literary reading among children.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 18, no 3, 281-299 p.
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Child and Youth Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-36245DOI: 10.1177/0963947009105854ISI: 000269922600005OAI: diva2:289058
Available from: 2010-01-22 Created: 2010-01-22 Last updated: 2012-03-28Bibliographically approved

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Aronsson, Karin
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