Traditional Academic Feuds in Literacy Studies Part 2: The Reading Wars

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

In my last post, I argued that the Reading Wars illustrate the horizontal knowledge structure of Literacy Studies. In the tradition of Christie & Macken-Horarik (2007), I will now explain the conceptual basis for classifying Literacy Studies as a horizontal knowledge structure by analyzing the McKenna et al. and Edelsky (M-E) discourse.

In the table below, I provide 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 later. 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 are not linked. They can be found at McKenna et al., 1990a; Edelsky, and McKenna et al, 1990b.