This article describes a theory of how culture enables literary interpretations of texts. We begin with a brief overview of the reader response field. From there, we introduce the theory and provide illustrative participant data examples. These data examples illustrate the four cultural positions middle grade students in our research assumed when responding to salient textual features embedded in African American children's novels. Our theory suggests that because a range of cultural positions factors into students' meaning making, we should mine texts more carefully for cultural milieu as well as find acceptance with a broader range of literary interpretations. We conclude by discussing implications for literary researchers and practitioners who study or use multicultural children's literature.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Linguistics and Language