Response to L&K – Week2, Chapter 2: Literacies: practice, Discourse, and encoded texts

new Literacies

New Literacies: Everyday Practices and Social Learning by Colin Lankshear and Michele Knobel, is divided into 3 parts;

  • Part 1: New Literacies: Concepts and Theory
  • Part 2: New Literacies: Some Everyday Practices
  • Part 3: New Literacies and Social Learning

Below is my response to Chapter 2, which falls under Part 1.

This chapter gave me a better insight to ‘new’ literacies and how they are evolving and changing on a daily basis. 20 years ago the concept of social networks and social learning was just coming to be. The idea of involving oneself in multiple communities, outside of one’s physical demographic area, never crossed my mind. Today, the majority of the worlds population is part (even in a very small way) of communities of people and many don’t ever interact face to face. This course, social learning, sharing of information within a group of people is a great example of how literacies have changed and will continue to change. I participate in social media. It started with myspace, connecting with people I no longer lived near, to my participation in Facebook, now  twitter, blogs, flickr, etc. By participating in these networks I am learning the practice of being social outside of my physical space. Learning this ‘new’ literacy. I am able to make connections with people I would never have connected with outside of the internet community. People can belong to so many different communities and actively practice within them, it just boggles my mind.

After reading the chapter, I understand that the practices of literacies identify different ways of being in my life. These are classified as a Discourse, way of being. I have a Discourse of being a graduate student at the University of Colorado Denver. I have a Discourse of being an Assistant Registrar for Degree Audit. I have a Discourse of being a twin.  Within these Discourses, say my Discourse of being a twin, I have knowledge of what it’s like to be a twin, I have a discourse of sharing my life with someone I have known since before birth. I have a discourse in a bond/connection with another person at a different level than most.

So when I think about my participation in online social communities, I now have an understanding of how I can put meaning into these practices. How my participation identifies who I am as a student, as a professional, as a friend, as a sister, etc. My participation creates meaning, for me, in that community and encourages others to make meaning of what I share.

Something that was brought up in chapter 2, is the launch of Facebook in 2004 by Mark Zuckerburg and his collaborators. Was this launch, for all intents and purposes, a ‘new’ literacy being unleashed for public consumption?  I would argue that, yes it is a new literacy. This was a way to connect to people that didn’t exist before. People’s participation within the site has changed since the initial launch and overtime will change again, I’m sure. People may have completely online relationships with people they have never met and will probably will never met, at the same time is also a ‘friend’ with the person sitting next to them on the couch. Facebook removed the physical walls that really bound our existence with regards to our social lives and enabled people to experience friendships and connections all over.


3 thoughts on “Response to L&K – Week2, Chapter 2: Literacies: practice, Discourse, and encoded texts

  1. Amelia,

    I really like how you related your response to the chapter to your everyday life. Before this week, I myself never thought about how my particular literacies and Discourses affect how I interact with people in my everyday life. It’s an interesting idea and one that I will be analyzing for the foreseeable future.

    As for your question about Facebook. I believe when it was originally released it was only released to college and university students. It went live to the public sometime in 2007. It was being released for public consumption, however I do not believe the executives at Facebook realized what impact they would have on the world. I think they released it because they saw an opportunity to make money. I would also say that it’s a new literacy. However, with all the new technologies being released are they all being considered new literacies? That would get overwhelming and confusing pretty quickly.


  2. Hi Amelia,

    I also enjoyed your connection with discourse in your everyday life, I think it is important to recognize how literacies affect us to understand how it affects the world. I also wanted to bring up your response to Facebook and how you consider it a “new” literacy. I would also consider how the internet affected how society communicated through emails, chat rooms, and especially gaming. Facebook came in 2004, while people were building relationships online long before the Facebook launch.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I found it interesting how you references the idea that people do not interact face to face. I think that is why I have avoided social media for so long. I enjoy phone calls better than texts. I think I am more old school when it comes to interacting with people. Maybe be is because I was a server for many years. When you communicate online only, you miss out on a lot of what is being said. There is a breakdown sometimes in sarcasm, tone and the overall meaning. I definitely know social media has it’s place but remember to leave your house to have real relationships is important too.

    Liked by 1 person

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