Despite their direct relevance to studies of literacy practices, zines (pronounced 'zeens') have scarcely featured in the literature of educational research. Where zines have been taken seriously as a focus of inquiry it has mainly been within studies of popular/youth culture (cf. Chu 1997; Duncombe 1997; Williamson 1994). This chapter is intended to provide a modest redress of the silence with respect to zines within literacy studies generally and the New Literacy Studies in particular. We believe anyone interested in the nature, role and significance of literacy practices under contemporary conditions has much of value to learn from zines and, especially, from thinking about them from a sociocultural perspective. Indeed, we think their significance extends beyond a focus on literacy per se to pedagogy at large. For immediate purposes we begin from the premise that zines are an important but under-researched dimension of adolescent cultural practices and provide fertile ground for extending our understanding of new literacies and digital technologies.
Synopsis - This book brings a unique, innovative and refreshing perspective to one of the most protracted issues affecting young lives - disengagement from schooling. Rather than continuing to blame young people, as most educational policies do, this book examines disengagement from the vantage point of the lives, experiences, interests and aspirations of the communities from which young people come, and within which they are embedded. It uses a narrative and representational approach that gives detailed insights into the wider context of poverty, class, power, relationships and identity. A major and defining hallmark of the book is the emphasis it places upon a number of 'doings', - including community voice, identity formation, critical work education and education policy - all of which provide a very different set of scripts with which to reinvent the institution of high school.