Talk about texts: Reading as a social event

Maybin, Janet and Moss, Gemma (1993). Talk about texts: Reading as a social event. Journal of Research in Reading, 16(2) pp. 138–147.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9817.1993.tb00043.x

Abstract

Drawing on anthropological evidence that interactions with texts are often mediated through oral language practices and Vygotsky's ideas about the primacy of social dialogue for individual intellectual development, the authors argue that children's informal talk about both electronic and printed texts throws new light on the reading process as a whole. They analyse children's talk about a school library book, a piece of graffiti, a television programme and a film to show how readings are shaped by the social organization and personal relationships of the readers, whether in curriculum activities, friendship groups or at home in the family. Readings are constructed, contested and negotiated through talk at the point where texts are first calculated and reshaped again when they are jointly recalled. Talk also helps to construct the text's legitimate audience and the reader's position within it.

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