Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2018

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Teaching and Learning

First Advisor

Thein, Amanda

First Committee Member

Schmidt, Renita

Second Committee Member

Colvin, Carolyn

Third Committee Member

Elmborg, James

Fourth Committee Member

Liu, Rossina Zamora


Discourses of adolescence/ts that reduce teenagers to impulsive, hormonal, incomplete adults are pervasive, and affect the way that adolescence/ts is regarded in institutional spaces like schools. However, scholars in Critical Youth Studies (CYS) reject these determinations in favor of a vision of adolescence as a social construct; a construct that has changed throughout time and does not accurately reflect the lived experiences of diverse youth. This study considers the way in which these discourses are mobilized and circulating in one English Language Arts (ELA) classroom and, specifically, through the study of literature. Grounded in empirical scholarship that approaches classroom literature pedagogy and response through a sociocultural lens, and in theoretical scholarship in Critical Youth Studies (CYS) and Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), the purpose of this qualitative inquiry is to observe student response to young adult literature (YAL) in one ELA classroom in order to locate discourses of adolescence that are mobilized and circulating as students comprehend, analyze and interpret texts.


Adolescence, Critical Discourse Analysis, Critical Youth Studies, English Education, Literature Response


xii, 190 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 178-190).


Copyright © 2018 Jenna Spiering