More specifically in the context of literacy narratives, turning points are often associated with times when individuals realize they can be literate agents, when they can define their relationship to reading and composing meaning on their own terms and in their own way—often, but not always, outside the more formal bounds of the educational institutions and classrooms that are represented in many literacy narratives.

The personal nature of such stories and the different layers and kinds of self-disclosure they incorporate are complexly rendered.

To the extent that the DALN functions as a site dependent on vernacular participation, we believe it serves—much like other social media sites such as YouTube, Flickr, or Facebook—as a site within which people can represent themselves, their literate practices, and the values they place on various kinds of literacy in the ways that they wish, exerting their own representational agency and working toward their own goals. At times, we know, such representations of the self or selves function to resist efforts, systems, or formations that, either purposefully or inadvertently, erase, ignore, or de-value informal literacy practices or assign cultural worth to narrative attempts along existing dominant economic, ideological, or cultural axes.


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Rather than being a particular type of text, a personal narrative does something as discourse in the social world.

(Langellier, 1989, p. 265)

I have come to think of literacy as a social trope and the various definitions of literacy as cultural Rorschachs.

(Brodkey, 1986, p. 47)