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Title: The sociomateriality of literacy : a study of the relationship between institutions, identity and the Internet in a primary classroom
Author: Hawley, Sara
ISNI:       0000 0004 9353 1977
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2020
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This paper is about the relationship between schooled literacy practices, identity and digital technology. It is a case study carried out by a teacher to examine the impact of using an online technology platform (wikispaces) in a year 4 classroom. In line with recent thinking in investigating literacy in the digital age, it looks for new ways to theorize literacy which go beyond the notion of a literacy event to allow for the study of literacy practices across time and space. It posits a theory of the sociomateriality of literacy, drawing on recent developments in the field of IS (Information Systems). Researchers in this field have used theories such as structuration and agential realism to underpin investigations. However these theories, which see structure and agency as inseparable, have made the analysis of empirical data difficult. More recent thinking uses the concept of sociomateriality underpinned by social or critical realism, following the sociologist, Margaret Archer, in seeing the ‘people’ and the ‘parts’ as separate. Such a theory allows for empirical research which can explain how the social and material imbricate or overlap over time and space. Using the concept of sociomateriality, this study finds that, given the right social environment and using the affordances which the technological intervention offers, new literacy practices which are more collaborative, decentred and linked to children’s identity can develop. Because of the constraints of the school environment, the majority of these practices take place outside school. This paper argues that there is a possibility to harness and reconceptualise the Third Space through the use of digital technology, making a link between schooled norms and home. However not all children will thrive in this space. Part of the work of the thesis is to analyse the mechanisms which account for this.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available