Literacy in the Library: Negotiating the Spaces Between Order and Desire
This critical ethnography of school libraries contributes to the study of the politics of literacy at the elementary school level as well as provides an interesting case study of "border crossing." The book interrogates two accounts of social reproduction and proposes a third. Students at working-poor Chavez Elementary resisted attempts to get them "hooked" on reading fiction, but while many were socialized to the labor of a piecework economy, many also found ways to use texts as they chose. At professional-managerial Crest Hills, students managed their discourse practices in ways that reproduced those of their office workplace, but their success was achieved at the expense of great anxiety about the future. At working-class Roosevelt, the librarians attended to the rhetoric of librarianship, but students reassembled knowledge on their own terms. A second project theorizes the school library as a geopolitical space, and critiques children's fiction and the social order that its texts help construct through a semiotic analysis of text classification within school libraries. An investigation of the origins of that system and of the ways of reading that it promotes--with particular attention to the history of the popular novel--describes the gender- and class-based politics of leisure reading.
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Crest Hills Elementary
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agenda asked Barbara Henry Boston Tea Party Bourdieu boys brary card catalog century chapter characterized Chavez Elementary children's novels classroom Crest Hills cultural dents Dewey Dewey Decimal System discourse discussion district example explained fiction Foucault gender genre girls grade heterotopia historical human icon individual interaction interviews kids knowledge labor lessons librarian librarianship library at Roosevelt library's liminal liminoid literacy Louise Currie Madison Heights Mariellen Wilson Mary Strauss meaning Michel Foucault middle-class narratives nonfiction section observed one's percent picture books Pierre Bourdieu political practices produce public libraries questions readers reading programs reconstruction relations reproductive resistance ritual Roosevelt Elementary school libraries School Library Journal seemed semiosis semiotic sense signs social class society sort space story students at Chavez students at Crest students at Roosevelt teachers texts textual third graders third-grade three libraries tion women