Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


College of Education and Human Services


Educational Foundations

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Rebecca A. Goldstein

Committee Member

Kathryn G. Herr

Committee Member

Michele Knobel

Committee Member

Laura M. Nicosia


This dissertation reports out the results from a socio-cultural media research study that examined how professional periodicals written for United States K-12 public school literacy educators described fanfiction-based recreational literacy practices between 2003 and 2013. In the first decade of the 21st century, many K-12 literacy scholars advocated for the adaptation of predominantly out-of-school literacy practices for use within US public school literacy instruction programs. During this period, some literacy researchers expressed concerns that teachers may have held incomplete or inaccurate conceptions of fan-based literacy practices such as fanfiction, to the detriment of their students and the literacy practices themselves. This research study investigates these concerns within the context of journal articles that describe and discuss fanfiction literacy practices. Practitioner research journal articles were collected and analyzed using socio-cultural media frame analysis in order to determine how fanfiction was presented and evaluated for inclusion within US public school classrooms. Analysis of data uncovered three dominant frame categories -- the youth practice frame, the out-of-school practice frame and the utilitarian practice frame -- each of which reflected how discussions of fanfiction literacy practice were aligned with particularly salient perspectives on the nature and worth of K-12 students' recreational literacy practices. The youth practice frame reflects an orientation toward the view that recreational literacy is juvenile, the out-of-school practice frame reflects the implications and connotations associated with labeling recreational literacy practices as non-academic, and the utilitarian practice frame reflects how recreational literacies are evaluated in terms of their ability to foster in-school literacy performance and assessment. By exploring how fanfiction literacy practices were framed over a decade punctuated by successive US K-12 public school literacy education reforms, this dissertation helps to illustrate the extent to which the qualities and merits of recreational literacy practices are often reoriented, reshaped, and resold to educators as solutions to classroom problems.

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