Playing the Game: Proficient Working-Class Student Writer sy Second Voices
Four case studies of proficient undergraduate writers from working-class backgrounds were conducted in the context of a course preparing sophomore and junior students to be tutors for first-year basic writers. It was found that, in contrast to much of the theorizing by and about working-class academics that emphasizes loss, a stronger theme in these students' narratives of growing academic literacy was gaming. Students explained their experiences in ways that suggested a greater degree of agency, an awareness of themselves as writers in a contact zone, and a stance of tricking teachers on the way to producing acceptable texts. These findings suggest that writing in the contact zone of the classroom may require a double-voicedness that need not always be heard by instructors but is nevertheless important to students.