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In Chapter 1 we trace the ways in which examinations of literacy in out-of-school settings have provided pivotal moments theoretically, turning the field toward new understandings of "literacies" and into different lines of research. Indeed, we argue that most of the theoretical advances that have been made in the field of literacy studies over the last 25 years have had their origin in discoveries about literacy and learning not in school, but outside it. To talk about literacy these days, both in school and out, is to speak of events, practices, activities, ideologies, discourses, and identities (and at times to do so almost unreflectively, so much a part of our customary academic ways of thinking have these categories and terminology become). Again, we argue that in large part this new theoretical vocabulary sprang from examinations of the uses and functions of literacy in contexts other than school.
Date Posted: 09 October 2008