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The discursive construction of dyslexia by students in higher education as a moral and intellectual good

Cameron, H and Billington, T (2015) The discursive construction of dyslexia by students in higher education as a moral and intellectual good. Disability & Society, 30 (8). pp. 1225-1240. ISSN 0968-7599

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Abstract

Interest in dyslexia as a topic of discussion in education, and in the media, runs through peaks and troughs. Dyslexic students in higher education must navigate their way through the possible meanings attached to the label, appropriating some and rejecting others, yet needing the label as a means to access support. The aim of this article is to explore the ways in which dyslexic university students constructed dyslexia and being dyslexic as moral issues during two focus group conversations. These conversations were discursively analysed with reference to Gee and Willig. Three key themes emerged following analysis: the interaction between the power of the grade as a marker of worth and the status of the dyslexia label; the tensions between acknowledging difficulties with writing and the construction of high literacy as morally aspirational; and the uncertain, yet persistent, construction of dyslexia as a valuable label and a moral good.

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