Analyzing literacy practice: Grounded theory to model

Victoria Purcell-Gates, Kristen H. Perry, Adriana Briseño

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


In this methodological and theoretical article, we address the need for more cross-case work on studies of literacy in use within different social and cultural contexts. The Cultural Practices of Literacy Study (CPLS) project has been working on a methodology for cross-case analyses that are principled in that the qualitative nature of each case, with its layers of context and interpretive meaning making by the researcher, is maintained while still allowing for data aggregation across cases. We present a model of a literacy practice that emerged from this work as one that may contribute to the work of other literacy researchers who are looking for theoretically driven ways to analyze and interpret ethnographic accounts of literacy practice on a larger scale and to answer questions about literacy practice across studies. We describe our theoretically based codingscheme, as well as the development of a large ethnographic database of literacy practices data and the technical aspects of lifting ethnographic data into a large database. We also provide a description of a pilot cross-case analysis as an example of the promise of such qualitative cross-case databases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-458
Number of pages20
JournalResearch in the Teaching of English
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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