Ecology: Keyword Essay
Department of Writing and Communication
Community Literacy Journal
Within community literacy scholarship, ecological perspectives are used to characterize the literacy and language practices of various groups. Director of the Lancaster Literacy Research Centre, David Barton draws from biology to theorize ecology as the study of “the interrelationship of an area of human activity and its environment. It is concerned with how the activity—literacy in this case—is part of the environment and at the same time influences and is influenced by the environment” (29). The reciprocal nature of ecologies, and the way they account for the distribution, influence, and movement of organisms within and between environments makes ecology an ideal term for characterizing the relationships among groups, technologies, and cultures that influence the ways individuals learn, communicate, and interact with one another. In this keyword essay, I will highlight the appropriateness of ecology for describing networked communication and literacy practices, as well as offer an overview of how compositionists and community literacy practitioners have used ecological approaches in the work they do.
Morris, J. (2015). Ecology: Keyword Essay. Community Literacy Journal, 9 (2), 85-91. https://doi.org/10.1353/clj.2015.0006