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ERIC Number: ED520847
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 393
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1242-2991-1
Socially Constituting Middle Childhood Students as Struggling Readers in Peer Interactions
Grigorenko, Margaret Crook
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Ohio State University
This study investigates how students in third-, fourth- and fifth-grade classes at a rural school are socially constituted as "struggling readers," and how this social status impacts reading achievement. It examines the ways that some students are positioned as inferior readers in relation to their classmates during peer-to-peer literacy events. Findings show that students take up the positioning and develop ways of acting in relation to reading and other students. As individuals in the social group come to understand the position they occupy within a social space, they take on attitudes, dispositions and practices--a habitus--that over time becomes relatively durable by becoming naturalized and expected by both the student and others in his or her social space. Findings show that the label and position of "struggling reader" has consequences for the student's academic achievement, social relationships and emotional well-being. Building on theoretical work in sociolinguistic ethnography, New Literacy Studies, discourse analysis and educational research examining the use of language in classrooms, this study uses microethnographic discourse analysis to generate grounded theoretical constructs related to how students in the middle childhood age range are socially constituted as struggling readers. Findings indicate that the organization of literacy instruction creates social spaces where students hierarchically position one another in peer-to-peer interactions based on definitions of reading and knowledge and on reading assessments used by the school system. Students take up and adopt a habitus that fulfills the expectations of the assigned social position. Findings show that conceptions of time are implicated in constituting a struggling reader. As the group creates a set of collective memories and develops a narrative related to a student's future based on literacy ability, the student's inferior social position becomes naturalized and impacts their relations with members of their community and their self-esteem. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Grade 3; Grade 4; Grade 5
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A