Waypoints for Literacy Researchers: Boundary Tracing, Historicizing, and Enacting Critical Equity Literacies

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Critical literacy, equity, geography, qualitative methodology, postcritical ethnography, collaborative ethnography

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Critical literacy-focused messaging is already propelling place-based meaning-making in communities and streets. Literacy researchers must be part of this public development and revelation. Authors share learning from two longitudinal, publicly-engaged ethnographic projects in different Midwestern United States communities to offer waypoints key to understanding communities’ social and spatial processes in highly segregated (by social class and race) locales. Building on key understandings around precarity and responsibility, place in research, and community-based critical equity literacy, these studies reinforce relentlessly examining places people live, grow up, and attend schools bound by values-laden and material geographic touchpoints that mobilize and produce inequities. These acts of placemaking position literacy research and researchers' role as imperative in informing future policy decisions and advocacy for equity with a “precariat” public and offer the layered approaches and multiple perspectives necessary for justice-based work where findings produced will resonate and matter for the publics we serve.

Citation / Publisher Attribution

International Studies in Sociology of Education, in press