This chapter positions reading as an act shaped by both biological and social factors, especially focusing on how biology is interpreted by dominant cultural values in school. This chapter includes four sections. The first part provides a general understanding of literacy as a social, cultural, and historical phenomenon. The next reviews the ways in which race, class, and power become factors in the development of literacy policies grounded in the traditions and practices of dominant cultural groups, thus providing better opportunities for some students than others. The third section reviews research on literacy practices developed in African American family settings and how those practices do and do not align with literacy expectations in school. The final section attends to “reading disorders,” particularly dyslexia, and how they are subject to pathologizing discourses that frame the whole student as disordered. The chapter concludes with an assertion that reading is a socially situated act in which issues of “normalcy,” based on demographic factors like race and developmental factors like age and grade level, suggest deficiencies in those whose lives follow an order different from that of the cultural mainstream.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Handbook of Reading Research, Volume V|
|Editors||Elizabeth Birr Moje, Peter P Afflerbach, Patricia Enciso, Nonie K Lesaux|
|ISBN (Print)||9781138937369, 9781138937376|
|State||Published - Jun 24 2020|
Smagorinsky, P., Guay, M., Ellison, T. L., & Willis, A. I. (2020). A Sociocultural Perspective on Readers, Reading, Reading Instruction and Assessment, Reading Policy, and Reading Research. In E. B. Moje, P. P. Afflerbach, P. Enciso, & N. K. Lesaux (Eds.), Handbook of Reading Research, Volume V (pp. 57-75). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315676302-4