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Mobile Literacies. Walking and Talking in Blackburn and Darwen

Lapington, Claire (2018) Mobile Literacies. Walking and Talking in Blackburn and Darwen. EdD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

A study of the literacies used by two groups participating in Health Walks run by Blackburn with Darwen Council. In this study, I examine the literacy practices that took place during participation in group led walks organised by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council as part of their Health Walks provision. My focus was on how participation in Health Walks effects changes in individuals. The study found its focus in anthropological participant observation with two groups of walkers. Data took the form of observational field notes, recordings of talk generated whilst walking and written accounts of walks completed by some participants. My analysis of the data included the arts based processes of creating trail maps and transcribing recorded talk onto Ordnance Survey maps. I used these processes as a heuristic to help draw out the properties of the literacies encountered and their relationship to place. The study is rooted in an understanding of literacy as an everyday activity that permeates people’s lives and through which power relationships are expressed and sustained. I foreground oral storytelling practices and term these practices mobile literacies. I examined how mobile literacies emerge in mobility and are shaped by the landscapes through which the walkers move. I aimed to demonstrate that participation in mobile literacies is a significant transformational aspect of the experience of participating in Health Walks. The study introduces the concept of mobile literacies as a discrete literacy practice. I characterise Mobile Literacies as emplaced, embodied collective storytelling practices that are generated by affectual response to moving through landscape. I describe how the practice offers opportunities to interrogate, extend and re – calibrate identities, express resistance and participate in collaborative acts of generation and transformation. The study offers policy makers and practitioners an alternative lens by which to view how walkers experience their involvement in Health Walks and new tools by which to measure impact and design further initiatives. In terms of education it offers a glimpse of the affordances of walking and the local environment in developing strategies by which to involve learners in meaningful and creative language and literacy learning.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
Depositing User: ms claire lapington
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2018 15:14
Last Modified: 05 Nov 2018 15:14
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/21343

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