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Drawing on interviews with 15 boys attending schools in low socioeconomic communities in Australia, this paper examines the multiplicity of contextual influences on boys’ everyday reading experiences. Implementing an ecological metaphor, boys’ narratives about (i) their attitudes towards reading at school (microsystem); (ii) parental beliefs about reading (mesosystem); (iii) masculinities within low socioeconomic communities (exosystem), and; (iv) reading as socially valued knowledge (macrosystem) are explored. The paper illustrates the textured nature of immediate and broader influences on boys’ engagement with, and positioning of, reading. In particular, the paper challenges dominant discourses about working-class boys’ reading practices, contributing to research into literacy in-situ to make visible the immediate and broader contextual systems that influence the ways working-class boys engage with, and enjoy, reading.


Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education

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Journal Article

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