Shaping literate identities: African American male youth, literacy, and middle school Open Access

Johnson, Latrise Paulene (2012)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/xw42n882t?locale=en
Published

Abstract

Abstract
Shaping Literate Identities: African American Male Youth, Literacy, and Middle School
In this study, I considered the literacy practices of African American male youth in an urban
middle school. Using ethnographic case study methodology and drawing from several
frameworks, I investigated the social and cultural contexts of literacy participation within
literacy classrooms/spaces. The study situated the literacy participation of African American
male youth within Gee's (2001) theory of Discourse and New Literacy Studies in which I
considered the ways that the youth discussed and asserted their literate identities in relation to
two distinct discourses present in the school. Because a larger failure narrative confounds the
literacy experiences of African American male youth, critical theory was framework for
considering the social and structural inequities of school and provided a lens for interpreting,
critiquing, and transforming interactions among individuals (Gibson, 1986; Palmer & Maramba,
2011). In other words, critical theory provided space for examining how literate identities were
shaped despite larger issues of failure that plague schooling experiences for African American
males. I examined how the literate identities of these African American male youth were shaped
within literacy classrooms/spaces as they contended with complex notions of literacy practice,
ideologies, and texts. Opportunities provided for literacy participation, literacy space, as well as
mode and level of participation were factors that influenced the literate identities as well as the
literacy participation of the African American male youth in this setting. I conclude with
considerations for examining the processes, pedagogies, texts, ideologies, and practices of
literacy spaces that are attentive to developing positive literate identities for African American
male youth in order to improve their overall schooling and literacy experiences.

Shaping Literate Identities: African American Male Youth, Literacy, and Middle School
B.A., Morris Brown College, 2000
M.Ed., Georgia State University, 2006
Advisor: Maisha T. Winn, Ph.D.
A dissertation submitted to the Faculty of
the James T. Laney School of Graduate Studies of Emory University
in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
in Educational Studies
2012

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Shaping in the Midst of "Crisis" ..................................................................1

Introduction and Statement of the Problem .................................................................1

Purpose of the Study ................................................................................................5

Significance .............................................................................................................7

Definition of Terms ...................................................................................................8

Theoretical Framework .............................................................................................10

Chapter 2: Shaping the Conversation .........................................................................14

Review of the Literature ............................................................................................14

Literate Identities of African American Male Youth .........................................................15

Literacy Practices of African American Male Youth .........................................................16

Literacy Narratives of African American Males ...............................................................21

Chapter 3: Shaping a Plan of Inquiry ...........................................................................25

Methodology .............................................................................................................25 Site..........................................................................................................................26 Participants...............................................................................................................27

Data Sources and Collection .......................................................................................28

Data Management......................................................................................................30

Data Analysis ............................................................................................................31

Researcher Perspective................................................................................................32

Reliability...................................................................................................................33 Validity ......................................................................................................................34

Limitations .................................................................................................................35

Chapter 4: Shaping Literate Identities Within Literacy Spaces:...........................................36

Chapter 5: Shaping and Mis-shaping: .............................................................................54

Chapter 6: Shaping Literate Lives Inside Middle Schools ....................................................66

Chapter 7: (Re) Shaping Place, Practice and Youth ............................................................80

Discourse of Place and Black Male Identity.…………………………………………...................................80

Morality and Behavior Teaching ............................................………………………………………………..81

Academic Harassment of Black Boys ..........................................…………………………………………..82

School-to-Prison Pipeline ..........................................…………………………………….…………............82

Place and Personnel .........................................……………………………………………………………………...83

Mismatch of Vision ..................................................……………………………………………………………..83

Paternalistic Professional Development ........................................…………………………………………83

The role of literacy Models .............................................……………………………………………………...84

Literacy Curriculum for African American Male Youth ...........................………………………………...85

Personal v. Academic ................................................……………………………………………………………86

Creative v. Technical ................................................…………………………………………………………….86

Student Centered v. Standards Centered ....................................………………………………………...86

Culturally Relevant v. Culturally Distant ........................................……………………………………….87

Re(Shaping) Dichotomies ..............................................……………………………………………………….88

Implications for Literacy Teacher Education ..............………………........................................…90

Future Research .........................................……………………………………………………………………….....91

Conclusion ..............................................……………………………………………………………………………….92 References ..................................................................................................................93

Appendix A .......................................………………………………………………………………………………..…108

Appendix B ........................................…………………………………………………………………………………..110

Appendix C.........................................…………………………………………………………………………………..112

Appendix D ........................................…………………………………………………………………………………..113

Appendix E .........................................…………………………………………………………………………………..114

Appendix F .........................................…………………………………………………………………………………..117

About this Dissertation

Rights statement
  • Permission granted by the author to include this thesis or dissertation in this repository. All rights reserved by the author. Please contact the author for information regarding the reproduction and use of this thesis or dissertation.
School
Department
Degree
Submission
Language
  • English
Research field
Keyword
Committee Chair / Thesis Advisor
Committee Members
Last modified

Primary PDF

Supplemental Files