Day: April 23, 2013

Traditional Academic Feuds in Literacy Studies Part 4: The Reading Wars Cont.

Note: This is the fourth part of a multi-part series which (eventually) will become a term paper for a class seminar on literacy.

In my last three posts, I discussed the classification of Literacy Studies as a horizontal knowledge structure (proposed by Bernstein) and provided evidence of the same with samples from the McKenna et al. and Edelsky discourse during the Reading Wars. I argue that the Reading Wars are a traditional academic feud in a horizontal knowledge structure, and an analysis of the Reading Wars from a Bernsteinian perspective can reveal how and why the feud occurred. In this post, I will analyze Features 2-3 that I outlined in my first post.

In the table in my second post, I provided representative examples from the M-E discourse that illustrate the features of a horizontal knowledge structure. I have numbered each feature for ease of explanation. For the sake of clarity, I refer to McKenna’s first article as “McKenna et al., 1990a” and their rejoinder “McKenna et al., 1990b.” Citations from quotes in the M-E discourse are not linked. They can be found at McKenna et al., 1990a; Edelsky, and McKenna et al, 1990b.

4. “‘Each language [has] its own criteria for legitimate texts, what counts as evidence and what counts as legitimate questions or a legitimate problematic'” (Bernstein 1999, p. 163) (more…)