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ERIC Number: EJ908442
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 36
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 72
ISSN: ISSN-1086-296X
"I Allow Myself to FEEL Now ...": Adolescent Girls' Negotiations of Embodied Knowing, the Female Body, and Literacy
Woodcock, Christine
Journal of Literacy Research, v42 n4 p349-384 2010
This study sought to provide new insights to the following questions: When discussing their literacy practices, how do adolescent girls talk about their bodies? What is the role of the body in some young women's literacy? What are the different forms that (dis)embodied learning can take, and what is its role in girls' literacy education? These questions were developed out of an interest in shedding light upon how particular literacies foster agency, how school and other institutional contexts can sometimes feel physically controlling, and how voice/silence are related to (dis)embodied knowledge. Grounded in the above questions, this article shares a cross-case analysis focused on issues of the body as they relate to case studies of three adolescent girls (ages 18-21) of diverse backgrounds. Informants participated in several interviews and the assembling of literacy artifacts, and the interviews were analyzed with the Listening Guide, a feminist, voice-centered, relational methodology. First, the work is situated theoretically by defining and exploring terms such as agency, embodied knowing, and voice/silence, and how they all relate to literacy, school, and learning. Second, the methodological framework used to collect and analyze data with the female informants is provided. Third, the cross-case analysis of case studies is provided, focusing on the three themes of agency, the physically controlling nature of schools/institutions, and the notion of silence or disembodied knowing when it comes to such issues as sexuality and social class. The three informants all engaged somewhat critically with their literacies, though not in a consistent fashion, exhibiting some dissonance or disembodied knowing in relation to their literacy practices. Even in the face of this dissonance, the informants used a form of play to negotiate the various roles of texts in their lives and their negotiations of body. Last, concluding thoughts are shared, with tangible suggestions for teachers and teacher educators. This study fortified the need to empower girls to critically reflect on their literacies in a consistent manner, so as to inspire educational reform through critical literacy and through emphasis on the affective and bodily dimensions of learning.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A