In this book a landmark text that is both engaging and accessible Hilary Janks addresses the following questions and many more:
Janks shows how competing orientations to critical literacy education domination (power), access, diversity, design foreground one over the other. Her central argument is that these different orientations are crucially interdependent and need to work together to create possibilities for redesign and social action that serve a social justice agenda. Recognizing ongoing change in socio-historical conditions, in the communication landscape, and in the applications of critical literacy, she examines the theory underpinning each orientation, and develops new theory in the argument for interdependence and integration. Most important, Literacy and Power sits at the interface between theory and practice, constantly moving from one to the other. It is rich with examples of how to use these orientations in real teaching contexts, and how to use them to counterbalance one another.
In the groundbreaking final chapter, Janks shows ways of working 'beyond reason'. Considering how the rationalist underpinning of critical literacy tends to exclude the non-rational pleasure and play, desire and the unconscious she makes the case that these need to be taken seriously given their power to cut across the work of critical literacy educators working from any orientation.