Literate Identities in Fan-Based Online Affinity Spaces

Authored by: Jayne C. Lammers , Alecia Marie Magnifico , Jen Scott Curwood

Handbook of Writing, Literacies, and Education in Digital Cultures

Print publication date:  August  2017
Online publication date:  August  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138206304
eBook ISBN: 9781315465258
Adobe ISBN:


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As the Internet becomes increasingly interwoven into their lives, youth engage in new literacy practices to communicate, connect, and construct themselves through digital tools and online spaces. We know, for example, that 92% of American teens report going online daily and 76% use social media (Lenhart, 2015). Internet use among European children continues to rise as well (Holloway, Green, & Livingstone, 2013). Though there have been efforts to help teachers embed digital and multimodal writing into classrooms (e.g., Garcia, 2014; Hyler & Hicks, 2014), most technology use in writing instruction is teacher-directed and classroom-based, focused on word processing and editing, and disconnected from wider audiences (Applebee & Langer, 2011; Graham, Capizzi, Harris, Hebert, & Morphy, 2014). Therefore, it remains important to study adolescents’ literacies “in the wild” (Curwood, Magnifico, & Lammers, 2013; Hutchins, 1995), where we see evidence of new interest-driven online practices. One particularly rich venue for such study has been fan-based online affinity spaces.

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