Collins, K. M. (2011). Discursive positioning in a fifth-grade writing lesson: The making of a “Bad, bad boy”. Urban Education, 46(4), 741-785.
In this article the author draws on the concept of positioning to examine how language is used during one particular fifth-grade writing lesson to construct both the lesson and the participants. The author’s analysis of the classroom interactions makes visible how participants colluded to position one student in particular, Larnell, as a “bad, bad boy,” and worked to ultimately exclude him from the classroom community. The study has implications for understanding the social construction of school failure and resistance, particularly as they relate to the overrepresentation of black males in special education and exclusionary disciplinary settings.
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