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This research demonstrated how an African American mother and son communicated with each other via texting and instant messaging (IM) at home. Data from a 2007 larger ethnographic case study of a family’s digital literacy practices were collected and analyzed. Situated within the framework of New Literacy Studies and multimodality, this research explored: a) how and why an African American mother and son communicated through texting and IM, b) how this family drew on multimodal meaning-making resources, and c) how texting and IM between these family members demonstrated the potential to change the perceptions of literacy researchers regarding the dynamics of family structures.


Permission to post publisher's copy granted by the Journal of Education. Originally published in: Lewis, T. Y. (2013). “We txt 2 sty cnnectd:” An African American mother and son communicate: Digital literacies, meaning-making, and activity theory systems. Journal of Education, 193(2).

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