Cultural Perspectives in Reading

Theory and Research

Authored by: Robert Rueda

Handbook of Reading Research

Print publication date:  October  2010
Online publication date:  March  2011

Print ISBN: 9780805853421
eBook ISBN: 9780203840412
Adobe ISBN: 9781136891427


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Culture is a ubiquitous feature of daily life and is characteristic of human activity, including reading and literacy. In fact, reading and literacy are cultural inventions constructed over the course of history to enable more effective solutions to everyday needs such as recording important events, facilitating commerce, and broadening means of communication (Cole, 1996; Lee & Smagorinsky, 2000). Thus, the connections between literacy and culture are deep. In this chapter, we will explore these connections. This will include a discussion of culture as a construct, an historical overview of culture in reading research, and a review and critique of research related to cultural factors in literacy acquisition and teaching, and a proposal for a research agenda for the field. Finally, the chapter will provide a model for examining cultural factors in literacy research as a means of guiding this agenda.

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