Asking Teens about Their Writing Lives: The Writing Identity Work of Youth

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Amy Vetter, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Framed by theories of youth, culture, identity studies, and literacy identity formation, this article examines how youth articulate themselves as writers. Using interview transcripts, analysis explored writing identity from the perspective of teens in urban, suburban, and rural settings. Findings from this qualitative study suggest that youth used various cultural artifacts, both conceptual and material, to feel and/or seem like a writer within multiple contexts. Specifically examined are the ways in which teens negotiated various identities as writers, including whether and how they drew on specific artifacts to embrace, resist and negotiate the following: (a) standardization, (b) meaning and relevance, (d) support, and (d) identities. In particular, findings illustrated the significance of spaces that provided opportunities for students to both feel and seem like a writer, and highlighted the nuanced ways in which seeming and feeling like a writer are shaped by social and cultural factors. Implications point to providing teens more opportunities to engage in the identity work of writers within multiple spaces, where support, choice, and time to talk about how society conceptualizes writing and what writing means to them are present.

Additional Information

Literacy Research and Instruction, 61(4)
Language: English
Date: 2021
writing, literacy identities, adolescent literacy

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