i-Dentity

I just wanted to start off with saying I really enjoyed the articles we read for today's class, since it harkens back to the discussion regarding fanfiction with Fansplaining's Flourish Klink and Elizabeth Minkel in our Networked Narrative's class. Additionally, both articles bring up the concept of identity, and how / what contributes to the construction + perception of it in contemporary society, which is a very new and interesting conversation to reflect on. However, both articles also touch on how that discussion also envelopes the idea of the "writer identity" that we have talked about in the past -- it becomes another factor into how people, particularly modern day youths, build and view themselves as writers in a generation and community that has an extraordinary online presence and reach.

Thomas W. Bean and Karen Moni, in their article "Developing Student's Critical Literacy: Exploring Identity Construction in Young Adult Fiction," capture this phenomenon rather well by saying,
"In summary, we found the following themes emerging from contemporary discussions of identity construction. First, identity is no longer anchored to stable employment, communities, or institutions. Rather, identity is constructed through the properties of individual action carried out - more often than not for urban teens - in nonplaces like malls, train stations, and airports. Identity is now a matter of self-construction amidst unstable times, mores, and global consumerism" (642).
The idea of how identity is constructed has changed vastly as we find ourselves in a contemporary society exposed to and obsessed with fleeting materialism, endless (and often times suspicious) outlets for media, and their personal and publicized online presence + aesthetic. All of these factors not only change how the genre of young adult fiction is considered and written, but also feeds into a greater question of how youths are trying to find and put themselves together in this post-postmodern world. They make mention of how there is a more pressing feeling of instability and uncertainty in the younger generation, as opposed to constructing a world around them that is rooted and invested in a stable future; however, I do want to make note that I feel like the authors sound rather bitter here- they make it sound like younger people are not concerned AT ALL with trying to invest in a future and have no interest in stability, when in fact, it's the exact opposite. There is such a fear and clinging on to anything that has the potential to be stable by myself and my peers around me, but the external social, economic, and personal hardships are real threats to any semblance of a future.

Additionally, young people who consider themselves writers have to look for that identity now in a much larger world, since the Internet is at their disposal. In order to feel like they are writers, they look to an online community in order to publish and find validation, which is a daunting task as it is very easy to put your work out there to thousands and thousands of anonymous eyes who will and want to read (and even review) what you write. All of this is why I'm glad that the other article is Rebecca W. Black's "Online Fan Fiction, Global Identities, and Imagination," which discusses this online writing community, albeit a subset in the form of the fanfiction genre, that is directly related to youth culture and writer identity.

Black reiterates a lot of what Bean and Moni discuss in terms of the construction of identity in a contemporary society. However, Black delves more deeply into how online spaces, such as fanfiction.net, help build up this identity, especially in ESL/ELL youths. These online spaces provide opportunities for practicing not only creative writing, but for people to practice the structure of the English language in general. I mentioned in the Networked Narratives class during our discussion on fanfiction that one thing I remember from my time as an author on fanfiction.net was that there was a lot of writers who identified themselves as being from Singapore. I didn't realize the huge presence of ELL writers on a site was primarily in English, and was always impressed at their grasp and courage for putting themselves (and most importantly, their writing) out there; meanwhile, I struggled with putting myself out there, even though I DID have a grasp of the English language! Funny how that works!

I found a lot of my writer identity during those adolescent years as an author on fanfiction.net, kind of like how both articles suggest. I was able to practice and publish my writing, and people would respond/review in a manner that was constructive and kind. It helped build up my confidence and find my voice as a writer; even though it was not original fiction, it helped my exercise my writing muscles and let me explore the creative worlds I had stuck in my head that wanted to get out.

The community is definitely an important part to anyone who is looking for validation, especially as a budding writer, even in a space where you feel like these anonymous people are somehow your peers. These online communities made me feel more like a writer than if I didn't have them accessible to me, too. If I didn't have the ability to self-publish my work and get response by people I didn't know, I don't know how much of a real "writer" I would have felt like. Like I said, I got a weird feeling of legitimization, which is extremely important in any aspect of a young person's life, if you ask me.

Thus, while parts of identity construction in today's society seems to be unsure and maybe even concerning, there are definitely more opportunities and outlets for people to explore and find themselves, especially as writers and artists. Despite the negative stereotypes of the society and spaces millennials are growing up in, they are not as sheltered, as many people like to claim they are -- instead, they are at times more exposed than a lot of other generations during their age, and definitely find themselves in situations and questioning their identity in a more meaningful way, as hard as that can be in such a fragmented and curious society.

i-Dentity

I just wanted to start off with saying I really enjoyed the articles we read for today's class, since it harkens back to the discussion regarding fanfiction with Fansplaining's Flourish Klink and Elizabeth Minkel in our Networked Narrative's class. Additionally, both articles bring up the concept of identity, and how / what contributes to the construction + perception of it in contemporary society, which is a very new and interesting conversation to reflect on. However, both articles also touch on how that discussion also envelopes the idea of the "writer identity" that we have talked about in the past -- it becomes another factor into how people, particularly modern day youths, build and view themselves as writers in a generation and community that has an extraordinary online presence and reach.

Thomas W. Bean and Karen Moni, in their article "Developing Student's Critical Literacy: Exploring Identity Construction in Young Adult Fiction," capture this phenomenon rather well by saying,
"In summary, we found the following themes emerging from contemporary discussions of identity construction. First, identity is no longer anchored to stable employment, communities, or institutions. Rather, identity is constructed through the properties of individual action carried out - more often than not for urban teens - in nonplaces like malls, train stations, and airports. Identity is now a matter of self-construction amidst unstable times, mores, and global consumerism" (642).
The idea of how identity is constructed has changed vastly as we find ourselves in a contemporary society exposed to and obsessed with fleeting materialism, endless (and often times suspicious) outlets for media, and their personal and publicized online presence + aesthetic. All of these factors not only change how the genre of young adult fiction is considered and written, but also feeds into a greater question of how youths are trying to find and put themselves together in this post-postmodern world. They make mention of how there is a more pressing feeling of instability and uncertainty in the younger generation, as opposed to constructing a world around them that is rooted and invested in a stable future; however, I do want to make note that I feel like the authors sound rather bitter here- they make it sound like younger people are not concerned AT ALL with trying to invest in a future and have no interest in stability, when in fact, it's the exact opposite. There is such a fear and clinging on to anything that has the potential to be stable by myself and my peers around me, but the external social, economic, and personal hardships are real threats to any semblance of a future.

Additionally, young people who consider themselves writers have to look for that identity now in a much larger world, since the Internet is at their disposal. In order to feel like they are writers, they look to an online community in order to publish and find validation, which is a daunting task as it is very easy to put your work out there to thousands and thousands of anonymous eyes who will and want to read (and even review) what you write. All of this is why I'm glad that the other article is Rebecca W. Black's "Online Fan Fiction, Global Identities, and Imagination," which discusses this online writing community, albeit a subset in the form of the fanfiction genre, that is directly related to youth culture and writer identity.

Black reiterates a lot of what Bean and Moni discuss in terms of the construction of identity in a contemporary society. However, Black delves more deeply into how online spaces, such as fanfiction.net, help build up this identity, especially in ESL/ELL youths. These online spaces provide opportunities for practicing not only creative writing, but for people to practice the structure of the English language in general. I mentioned in the Networked Narratives class during our discussion on fanfiction that one thing I remember from my time as an author on fanfiction.net was that there was a lot of writers who identified themselves as being from Singapore. I didn't realize the huge presence of ELL writers on a site was primarily in English, and was always impressed at their grasp and courage for putting themselves (and most importantly, their writing) out there; meanwhile, I struggled with putting myself out there, even though I DID have a grasp of the English language! Funny how that works!

I found a lot of my writer identity during those adolescent years as an author on fanfiction.net, kind of like how both articles suggest. I was able to practice and publish my writing, and people would respond/review in a manner that was constructive and kind. It helped build up my confidence and find my voice as a writer; even though it was not original fiction, it helped my exercise my writing muscles and let me explore the creative worlds I had stuck in my head that wanted to get out.

The community is definitely an important part to anyone who is looking for validation, especially as a budding writer, even in a space where you feel like these anonymous people are somehow your peers. These online communities made me feel more like a writer than if I didn't have them accessible to me, too. If I didn't have the ability to self-publish my work and get response by people I didn't know, I don't know how much of a real "writer" I would have felt like. Like I said, I got a weird feeling of legitimization, which is extremely important in any aspect of a young person's life, if you ask me.

Thus, while parts of identity construction in today's society seems to be unsure and maybe even concerning, there are definitely more opportunities and outlets for people to explore and find themselves, especially as writers and artists. Despite the negative stereotypes of the society and spaces millennials are growing up in, they are not as sheltered, as many people like to claim they are -- instead, they are at times more exposed than a lot of other generations during their age, and definitely find themselves in situations and questioning their identity in a more meaningful way, as hard as that can be in such a fragmented and curious society.

Adolescent Fiction




This week Mary Kate selected the reading. Our reading were the following; Developing Students’ Critical Literacy: Exploring Identify Construction in Young Adult Fiction by Thomas W. Bean and Karen Moni Online Fan Fiction, Global Identities, and Imagination by Rebecca Black. 


In the first reading, Developing Students' Critical Literacry:Exploring Identity  Construction in  Young Adult Fiction, the following stood out to me:  

"First, identity is no longer anchored to stable employment, communities, or institutions. Rather, identity is constructed through the properties of individual action car- ried out—more often than not for urban teens— in nonplaces like malls, train stations, and airports. Identity is now a matter of self- construction amidst unstable times, mores, and global consumerism. "(642) The idea that identity is self-constructed based on outside global influences isn't anything that is so different or radical. The reason I paused at this thought was because of social climate we're in. There is constant talk of identity and transgender identity, racial identity with people in the headlines like Rachel Dolezal. It got me to thinking about the younger generation that inhabits this world and how they fit in this identity spectrum How will they define themselves within this generation? 

As an middle school ELA teacher I find the books that speak to my students are the ones that are like the the novel examined in the article. "Critical literacy takes the reader beyond the bounds of reader response. As we are interested in missues of contemporary teen identity construction in young adult novels, critical literacy offers a useful framework for our exploration of the novel Fighting Ruben Wolfe (Zusak, 2000)."  I have never identified it as critical literary intact, this is a term that is new to me. But upon the reading I understand and can no identify the novels that I teach fall under this category. Novels like Outsiders, The Giver, The Hunger Games , Bad Boy all fall under this framework. And for the most part teens can readily identify with these stories. They understand the plight of the characters even if they are from a different background there is a familiarity there that they instantly make a connection with.

In the second article by Rebecca Black she speaks about online fan fiction. This is a term that I have very recently become familiar with because of the work I have been able to do in my Network Narratives class. For those of you that don't know Rebecca Black defines fan fiction as, "a unique form of writing in which fans base their stories on the characters and plotlines of existing media and popular culture. When creating fan ction, fans extend storylines, create new narrative threads, develop romantic relationships between characters, and focus on the lives of undeveloped characters from various media."  I wish this would've been in existence when I was an adolescence.  I would've been all over this. I really love that this is a genre that writing forum is being talked about and counted as significant in this digital age. That is very important because any forum that gets young adults to work int he creation stage of Blooms Taxonomy is well worth taking a second look. 



Adolescent Fiction




This week Mary Kate selected the reading. Our reading were the following; Developing Students’ Critical Literacy: Exploring Identify Construction in Young Adult Fiction by Thomas W. Bean and Karen Moni Online Fan Fiction, Global Identities, and Imagination by Rebecca Black. 


In the first reading, Developing Students' Critical Literacry:Exploring Identity  Construction in  Young Adult Fiction, the following stood out to me:  

"First, identity is no longer anchored to stable employment, communities, or institutions. Rather, identity is constructed through the properties of individual action car- ried out—more often than not for urban teens— in nonplaces like malls, train stations, and airports. Identity is now a matter of self- construction amidst unstable times, mores, and global consumerism. "(642) The idea that identity is self-constructed based on outside global influences isn't anything that is so different or radical. The reason I paused at this thought was because of social climate we're in. There is constant talk of identity and transgender identity, racial identity with people in the headlines like Rachel Dolezal. It got me to thinking about the younger generation that inhabits this world and how they fit in this identity spectrum How will they define themselves within this generation? 

As an middle school ELA teacher I find the books that speak to my students are the ones that are like the the novel examined in the article. "Critical literacy takes the reader beyond the bounds of reader response. As we are interested in missues of contemporary teen identity construction in young adult novels, critical literacy offers a useful framework for our exploration of the novel Fighting Ruben Wolfe (Zusak, 2000)."  I have never identified it as critical literary intact, this is a term that is new to me. But upon the reading I understand and can no identify the novels that I teach fall under this category. Novels like Outsiders, The Giver, The Hunger Games , Bad Boy all fall under this framework. And for the most part teens can readily identify with these stories. They understand the plight of the characters even if they are from a different background there is a familiarity there that they instantly make a connection with.

In the second article by Rebecca Black she speaks about online fan fiction. This is a term that I have very recently become familiar with because of the work I have been able to do in my Network Narratives class. For those of you that don't know Rebecca Black defines fan fiction as, "a unique form of writing in which fans base their stories on the characters and plotlines of existing media and popular culture. When creating fan ction, fans extend storylines, create new narrative threads, develop romantic relationships between characters, and focus on the lives of undeveloped characters from various media."  I wish this would've been in existence when I was an adolescence.  I would've been all over this. I really love that this is a genre that writing forum is being talked about and counted as significant in this digital age. That is very important because any forum that gets young adults to work int he creation stage of Blooms Taxonomy is well worth taking a second look. 



Critical Literacies & Fanfic

AHHHHHHH! I am extremely excited to write about MaryKate’s two readings for her presentation tonight. I did not have as much time I wanted to dive into them fully, so I may be updating this post later on if I am able to go back to these readings again. However, what I received from them in the short amount of time that I had was pleasant and knowledge-filled.

YA Lit .jpgIn “Developing Student’s Critical Literacy: Exploring Identity Construction in Young Adult Fiction” by Thomas Bean and Karen Moni was the article that I was able to get more out of because I read it in its entirety. I was waiting for this topic for a very long time because it directly correlates with something that I hold near and dear to my heart, which is young adult fiction/literature. In addition, much of the work that I have produced in my time here is a graduate student has to do with identity construction through narrowed contexts.

One of the first ideas that jumped out at me was the feeling of connectedness with protagonists in a particular work, and that feeling of relatability when their lives are paralleled wth my own. Most of my pre-teen and teenage years were saved because I had these characters to relate to. I didn’t look up to my own family members as much as I did with these characters, and for a long time that was a part of my identity and also partly the reason why I have Stars Hollow resident (Gilmore Girls) written in my twitter bio.

There was an area in the text where Thomas and Moni stated, “Through discussion of such choices, students may also better understand how they are being constructed as adolescents in the texts and how such constructions compare with their own attempts to form their identities” (pg. 639). I think the teaching of being critical with any work is very pertinent in a young individual’s life. Learning to think critically about what I read not only set me up to be able to identify what kind of reader I was, but to also be able to fix myself within the greater context of society as what kind of person I was. I was aware of my identity because I had such great instruction. To know how to break things down to find out how they work and/or do not is essential in life, so I completely concur with what is being said here.

The authors go on and get into a discussion of struggling readers, and how the work that they are presented with isn’t necessarily up to par with that of their “higher-level” counterparts. The article, in that particular spot, reminded me of the lessons taught by the NIH certification that our class just did regarding treatment with human-based research studies. In this case, I think it is fair to say that all students (even those who struggle as readers) need equitable AND equal treatment. To make sure that their treatment and assessment is fair is one thing, but to strive to ensure that it is equal with others is another. I think they deserve both and I feel the authors are striving for this as well.

Overall, it was interesting to me how I was reading the article. I kept forgetting that Thomas and Moni were honing in on Australian students. So much of myself and my life was in that article that it was hard to separate my own identity from it. I believe that reading texts and what is being described as critical literacy can become joyous for students with correct instruction that is unique in its own right and is almost fun in a way. I had the teachers that taught me to pick apart a text to be able to explain it from different perspectives of characters within the story. I had the teachers that allowed me to “manipulate” and derive several different implications from one text, so I am grateful for my experience and hope that this kind of instruction is still happening even if it is only growing in an unhurried manner; it absolutely has to be there.

fanfiction.jpg

I wasn’t necessarily able to get too far into the second article “Online FanFiction, Global Identities, and Imagination” by Rebecca Black, but from reading my classmate’s blog posts and through discussion with my peers the themes in this text are very relevant and pertinent. I liked the idea of having the stories of english language learners told in this article regarding how their own identity is constructed, and how some turned to fan fiction  communities to strengthen their abilities. There are still people and places that do not recognize fan fiction as an appropriate medium in education, but it definitely has much to offer in way student’s are developing mentally, constructing their identities, and improving their skills.

I found myself drawn to reach for a parallel here with the Young Writer’s Project, which is a group of young individuals that I learned about in another course that I am taking this semester. I realized that this platform that was created for young writers are actually partaking in this very progressive idealization of what Rebecca Black is speaking about, and the fact that they are already situated within this digital age and amongst the technologies to network together, and that is huge! I felt that these two readings for this week really complimented each other in the right way even if one of them seemed even more outdated than the other one. I found that I was able to take away a great deal from both of the articles.