Sponsoring Ways of Being

Adolescent Boys’ Religious Literacy Practices

in Boyhood Studies
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  • 1 Hope College vanduinen@hope.edu
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ABSTRACT

Many adolescent boys identify, in some way or the other, as being religious. Despite this, the religious literacy practices of adolescent boys has been underresearched in the field of adolescent literacy studies. Drawing on concept of literacy sponsorship and on sociocultural perspectives of literacy, I analyze the ways in which religious institutions sponsor boys’ literacy practices. Using data from a qualitative in-depth interview study with 11 adolescent boys, I explore the texts, participants, contexts, functions, and motivations surrounding boys’ religious literacy practices and argue that religious institutions sponsor particular and different ways of being religious adolescent boys and that this in turn influences adolescent boys’ literate lives.

Contributor Notes

Deborah Vriend Van Duinen is Associate Professor of English education at Hope College in Holland, MI, where she teaches and does research in young adult literature, adolescents’ out-of-school literacy practices, and community literacy. E-mail: vanduinen@hope.edu

Boyhood Studies

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