I conducted a narrative inquiry with five ninth grade boys in my English class that I identified as displaying multiple literacies. The classes I taught the boys in were two sections of honors ninth grade English. The boys came from a variety of backgrounds and lived in various neighborhoods in the approximately 20,0000-member community where we all live. The site of this research was the junior high school in Utah where the boys attend school and I had been employed for six years. After the research was collected, I conducted several negotiation sessions with the boys and their parents at the school, as well as in their homes. These negotiations facilitated a methodological concept I came to call distillation, which is an interim step for determining which narratives in an inquiry are emblematic. My research centered on how these boys storied their literate identities. A review of literature revealed several lenses for conceptualizing the stories of these boys. An analysis of the stories I collected revealed that the boys' stories moved beyond current conceptions of either identity or literacy alone and instead offered a way of looking at literate identity as simultaneously being and doing literacy. In light of this definition, the boys' stories revealed plotlines that together described literate identity as a form of capital. The question of how the boys story themselves is ultimately answered using a meta-narrative about a boon, of gift, that emerges from mythic/archetypal literary criticism. Distribution of a desirable boon that will help society is the goal of a hero story. The boys narrate the ways in which they distribute literacy as a boon. The implications for this research include a need to examine classroom space in order to facilitate the deployment of literate identity capital, as well as space for living out the meta-narratives that these boys are composing.
College and Department
David O. McKay School of Education; Teacher Education
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Rice, Mary Frances, "Narrating the Literate Identities of Five Ninth Grade Boys on the School Landscape" (2010). Theses and Dissertations. 2232.
Adolescent boys, literate identity, boys' literacy, forms of capital