Minding metaphors : Rethinking the ecology of written language
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionSkaftun, Atle (2011): Minding metaphors : Rethinking the ecology of written language. L1 Educational Studies in Language and Literature. 11(2011), pp. 97-108
The field of reading and literacy studies has undergone large changes in the past three decades. A branch referred to as New Literacy Studies has established itself alongside the traditional school of psychological reading research, and in general there has been a continuous effort to bring together indi-vidual and social aspects of literacy. The approach of the present article is rooted in the rhetoric of science and explores metaphorical barriers to cross-disciplinary understanding. More specifically, it revisits Da-vid Barton’s metaphorical understanding of literacy as an ecology of written language, originally intended to draw the social and the psychological together. The article discusses the marginalisation of the individ-ual in Social Turn theories in general and in the ecology framework in particular. An understanding of involvement and eventness is suggested that makes room for the individual and thus also improves the precision of the framework. Rethinking ecology along this line of thought might enrich the ecology meta-phor in the study of reading and literacy in a way that makes it meaningful from a psychological perspective.