The appearance of literacy in new communicative practices: interrogating the politics of noticing

BURNETT, Cathy, MERCHANT, Guy and NEUMANN, Michelle (2019). The appearance of literacy in new communicative practices: interrogating the politics of noticing. Cambridge Journal of Education.

Burnett_AppearanceOfLiteracy(AM).pdf - Accepted Version
All rights reserved.

Download (350kB) | Preview
Official URL:
Link to published version::


This conceptual article examines how ready-made assumptions about literacy both frame and limit understandings of new communicative practices in educational contexts. Proposing a tripartite heuristic that interrogates the appearance of literacy in terms of emergence, semblance, and performance, it uses stories from a study of touchscreen tablets in one early years setting to illustrate the social-material arrangements associated with moments when tablets became texts to be looked at, shared or made. We argue that a sociomaterial sensibility can not only sensitise researchers to new communicative practices, but also to the ways in which sociomaterial arrangements help to construct habits of noticing often active in accounts of literacy practice and research. It is our contention that exploring the relations between emergence, semblance and performance is particularly valuable at a time when conceptualisations of literacy are being challenged in response to diversifying communicative practices.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Education; 13 Education
Identification Number:
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2019 14:08
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2023 09:31

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics