Moving Inside: Socioacademic Relationships and Institutional Literacy Demands in the Transformation of Social and Literate Identities
This report documents the trajectory of one immigrant high school student (Jan) to the US from Poland, his initial failures and frustrations, and the forces that ultimately led him to successful completion of his undergraduate and then master's degree. Two arguments subtend the description. The first highlights the importance of what I have called socioacademic relationships, that is, the kinds of relationships with peers (or faculty) that include working together for common goals but do not necessarily also include out-of-scnool friendships. The establishment of positive socioacademic relationships with desirable peers and near peers allowed Jan to construct an identity that ultimately led to the transformation of his college experience. The second argument centers on Jan's literacy development and uses Jan's case to support current notions of social, as opposed to autonomous, literacy (Barton, Hamilton, & Ivanic, 2000; Street, 2000), as institutional requirements in his senior year plunged him temporarily back into the confusion and insecurity in relation to literacy tasks that had hounded his early years.
(30 min. Conference Paper, English)