Landscapes of competence: A case study of literacy practices and processes in the life of a man with aphasia
AuthorGarcia Obregon, Andrea
AdvisorShort, Kathy G.
Goodman, Kenneth S.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis research presents a theoretical and descriptive case study in which I investigate the nature of literacy competence in the life of Stuart Carter, an English speaking man who at the early age of thirty-six, suffered from a left cerebral hemorrhage resulting in expressive aphasia and right side hemiplegia. By using a qualitative data set, including videotaped interactions, documents, interviews and fieldnotes, and qualitative data analysis strategies, I trace the evolution of Stuart's literacy practices and literacy process after the stroke that took place in April of 1994, identifying issues that shaped his literacy experiences over a lapse of seven years. The present study grew out of my concerns regarding the capricious ways in which portraits of competence get created, based on reduced and clinical images of performance. Three landscapes of competence emerged from the analysis: (a) Sociocultural landscapes; (b) Transactional socio-psycholinguistic (TSP) landscapes, and (c) Affective and personal landscapes. I use the metaphor of 'landscapes' as an interpretative construct that makes it possible to describe literacy competence as multidimensional, as dynamic, and as closely tied to the overall structure of everyday literacy contexts. The first landscape presents Stuart's perceptions of his literacy practices after the stroke, and offers a description of Stuart's uses of literacy as a window into his literacy practices. The second landscape describes his reading and writing processes. I explore the contextual features that hinder/support his participation in literacy events, and elaborate on the mediational purposes of his writing process. The third landscape relates to the significant personal and affective tensions that frame Stuart's literacy experiences as a reader and writer with aphasia. I describe the underlying strategies, inventions and coping mechanism he developed to deal with the transformations in his life after aphasia. What I illustrate throughout this study is that an alternative theoretical framework, one based on understanding literacy as both social practice and sociopsycholinguistic process, and an alternative research methodology within the field of aphasiology, based on qualitative and ethnographic principles, provide a wealth of unexplored territory into the nature of literacy, language and learning in aphasia.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Language, Reading & Culture