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ERIC Number: ED370131
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Mar
Pages: 20
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Gender, Ethnicity, Class and the Development of High Literacy among Dominican Americans.
Cruz, Dulce M.
A study of 16 Dominican American professors who teach in the humanities and social sciences examined the manner in which cultural legacies affected their attainment to "high literacy." Does the acquisition of a prestigious degree transform a person's life? Does it lead to social mobility, liberalism, activism, liberation? Results fall under four headings, "The Legacy of Dominican Culture,""Adjusting to American Society,""The Emigrating Experience," and "The Influence of Family and Professors." Female respondents pursued high literacy as a means of countering inequality built into their Dominican culture. While young girls were expected to play indoors rather than outdoors, this led in some cases to a refuge in books. Other respondents said they pursued high literacy as a means of countering other forms of inequality, those concerning race and class. One respondent became "highly literate" partly because she wanted to understand Dominicans' denial of class and their distinct mulatto condition, their mixture of European, Spanish, and African heritage. Findings indicate that high literacy is a double-edged sword: it is both constraining and liberating, both an instrument of conformity and an instrument of creativity. If it requires a price so dear as to induce mental breakdowns, it also results in awakenings or rebirths that, among other things, lead to a deeper understanding and renewed love of the Dominican heritage, which is usually devalued in mainstream society. (TB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A