Toward an affinity space methodology: Considerations for literacy research

July 2012
English Teaching: Practice & Critique (University of Waikato);Jul2012, Vol. 11 Issue 2, p44
Academic Journal
As researchers seek to make sense of young people's online literacy practices and participation, questions of methodology are important to consider. In our work to understand the culture of physical, virtual and blended spheres that adolescents inhabit, we find it necessary to expand Gee's (2004) notion of affinity spaces. In this article, we draw on our research examining adolescent literacies related to The Sims video games, The Hunger Games novels, and the Neopets online game to explicate nine features of affinity space research that reflect participation in, and research about, online environments. We argue that studying adolescent literacies in affinity spaces affords us access to participants outside our geographic proximity, readily available web-based historical record of the affinity spaces' practices, and a way to trace literacy practices across portals, modes and texts. However, affinity space research poses challenges, including issues of recruiting and maintaining relationships with participants, the instability and impermanence of online environments and artefacts, and the porous boundaries of field sites. This article concludes with recommendations for future literacy research conducted in online spaces and implications for literacy teaching and learning. Our aim is to begin articulating a new methodological framework for studying affinity spaces: affinity space ethnography.


Related Articles

  • GLOSSARY.  // Variety;10/29/2013, Vol. 321 Issue 17, p88 

    A glossary of cultural industry jargon is presented which involves the guitarist Dave Navarro's interest in the actress Vampira, the Massachusetts island of Naushon, and the fictional post-apocalyptic nation of Panem in the "Hunger Games" series of books and motion pictures.

  • FACE - OFF ALICIA KEYS VS. KATNISS EVERDEEN. WEXLER, SARAH Z. // InStyle;Dec2012, Vol. 19 Issue 13, p106 

    The article compares singer Alicia Keys with fictional character Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence in the "Hunger Games" series.

  • Shelf Life.  // Newsweek;4/23/2012, Vol. 159 Issue 17/18, p14 

    The article lists the top five books that parents tried to ban from libraries and schools in 2011 including the series "TTYL" by Lauren Myracle, " the series "The Color of the Earth" by Kim Dong Hwa, and the trilogy "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins.

  • When NCLB Meets 'Hunger Games'. Tobergte, David R. // Education Week;3/13/2013, Vol. 32 Issue 24, p26 

    A letter to the editor is presented which compares U.S. education policies to the plot of the book "The Hunger Games."

  • Challenged. Scales, Pat // School Library Journal;Jul2013, Vol. 59 Issue 7, p14 

    The article provides answers to several questions on topics including how to respond to a parent's complaint that a storytelling festival at a children's library includes fairy tales, a challenge to the Junie B. Jones book series, and a parent's complaint against the Hunger Games series.

  • The Hunger Games Heads to the London Stage.  // License! Global;Nov/Dec2014, Vol. 17 Issue 6, p19 

    The article discusses the bringing on stage in London of the blockbuster Hunger Games book series and franchise by entertainment company Lionsgate in partnership with U.S.-based production company Triangular Entertainment and Dutch media company Imagine Nation.

  • One Book, One Movie!  // Wired;Nov2014, Vol. 22 Issue 11, p58 

    The author criticizes the decision of film producers to make two films out of the third installment of book series such as "The Hunger Games," "Divergent," and "Twilight."

  • 'Hunger Games' Frenzy.  // School Library Journal;Apr2012, Vol. 58 Issue 4, p14 

    The article announces the journal's creation of a webpage for "The Hunger Games" book and film series, featuring news, reviews, and interviews with author Suzanne Collins.

  • Critique. Wright, Craig; Conlon, Elizabeth // Australian Journal of Educational & Developmental Psychology;2009, Vol. 9, p47 

    In this article the author comments on the study titled "Can children with AD/HD learn relaxation and breathing techniques through biofeedback video games?," by K. Amon and A. Campbell. The author stresses that the study's conclusion is difficult to sustain particularly in the aspects of...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics