Contrasting Systemic Functional Linguistic and Situated Literacies Approaches to Multimodality in Literacy and Writing Studies

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Abstract

Against the backdrop of proliferating research on multimodality in the fields of literacy and writing studies, this article considers the contributions of two prominent theoretical perspectives-Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) and Situated Literacies-and the methodological tensions they raise for the study of multimodality. To delineate these two perspectives' methodological tensions, I present an analysis of selected recent literature from both approaches and then analyze these tensions further as they emerge in two empirical studies published in this journal illustrating each approach. Despite the fact that SFL and Situated Literacies share some underlying theoretical assumptions and are sometimes drawn upon in concert by scholars, I illustrate how they differ in their treatment of multimodal texts and practices-as well as their methodologies-research design, data collected, analytic methods, and possible implications. This article thus seeks to outline the respective contributions of SFL and Situated Literacies to ongoing research on multimodality in literacy and writing studies and to encourage a conversation across theoretical and methodological borders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)276-299
Number of pages24
JournalWritten Communication
Volume30
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2013

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multimodality
Linguistics
literacy
linguistics
concert
research planning
conversation
methodology
Literacies
Multimodality
Systemic Functional Linguistics
Literacy

Keywords

  • methodology
  • multimodal analysis
  • opportunity to learn
  • research design
  • social context

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Literature and Literary Theory

Cite this

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