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Texts, text-reader conversations, and institutional discourse (Dorothy Smith): Literacy Research Discussion Group

Date: 1 February 2011 Time: 1.00 pm -

Venue: C89 (meeting room 7) County South

Facilitated by Karin Tusting and Mary Hamilton, Lancaster University

The sociological field of 'institutional ethnography' is an approach to the study of social relations which has great potential interest for literacy studies. Smith's concept of 'textually mediated social organization' (Smith 1990) has been drawn on and referenced in some of our more recent work. In this session, we will reflect together on a reading from Smith's later (2005) work Institutional Ethnography, in which she develops the approach in detail. The chapter we will be discussing, chapter 5, "Texts, text-reader conversations, and institutional discourse", looks particularly at the key role of texts in producing translocal co-ordination of local activities, and at how these processes can be approached from an ethnographic perspective. Karin Tusting and Mary Hamilton will open the discussion with some brief framing comments. Copies of the reading are available from the Literacy Research Centre pigeonholes, C floor FASS building.

Event website: http:/


Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Associated staff: Mary Hamilton, Karin Tusting

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

Keywords: Ethnography, Ethnography of literacy, Institutional talk, Literacies, Sociology


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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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