More Complicated than You Think: Exploring the Relationships between Teen Boys’ Identities and Their Sports-related Literacy Practices

By Deborah Vriend Van Duinen.

Published by The Sport Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The sports-related reading, writing, and viewing that many teen boys do is often overlooked and undervalued by teachers, parents, and teen boys themselves. However, the amount of time, energy, and resources that many teen boys invest in their sports-related literacy practices points to the significance that these literacy practices have in their lives. With findings from a recent qualitative in-depth interview study with 21 adolescent boys, this paper explores the social nature of teen boys’ sports-related literacy practices by examining teen boys’ various identities or group memberships. Building on literacy research that examines the relationships between literacy, identity and gender, this paper argues that teen boys’ various sports identities reveal complex social relationships that often determine the kinds of reading, writing, and viewing that surrounds their sports involvements and interests. If literacy researchers, teachers, parents and coaches are to take teen boys’ sports-related literacy practices more seriously, consideration of these various identities needs to occur.

Keywords: Teenage Boys, Sports, Literacy, Identity, Adolescent Literacy

The International Journal of Sport and Society, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp.65-78. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 831.640KB).

Dr. Deborah Vriend Van Duinen

Assistant Professor, Education Department, Secondary Education, Hope College, Holland, MI, USA

Deborah Vriend Van Duinen is an Assistant Professor of Education at Hope College in Holland, MI USA. Her research interests include adolescent literacy, content area literacy, English education, and children’s and young adult literature.