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Paperwork in the workplace: responses to 'imposed' literacy practices: a Literacy Research Discussion Group Seminar

Date: 1 December 2009 Time: 1#2 pm

Venue: Meeting Room 1 in IAS Building

Karin Tusting, Lancaster University

Paperwork in the workplace: responses to 'imposed' literacy practices.

Literacy studies, particularly at Lancaster, has a strong tradition of bringing to light vernacular, self-generated literacy practices which are otherwise often overlooked.In this presentation I am going to examine how people negotiate literacy practices that are, in some ways, the opposite to this: that is, paperwork demands that are imposed on them, as a requirement of their work.These practices have increased in contemporary workplaces, as part of a shift towards increased pressures of self-accountability at all levels.I have recently been researching experiences of such paperwork in two contrasting educational workplaces: an early years education site, and an adult and community college.In both sites, a common discourse about the problems of paperwork was drawn on by staff describing their experiences.By comparing the two sites, however, significant differences emerge which give insights into the conditions under which imposed literacy practices become more or less problematic.I will describe these differences, and argue that responses to such 'imposed' literacy practices can give us insights into how textualisation of the workplace shapes and changes workplace social relations and professional identities.

Everyone welcome

Event website:


Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Organising departments and research centres: Lancaster Literacy Research Centre, Linguistics and English Language

Keywords: Literacies, Literacy


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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD
United Kingdom

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