ERIC Number: ED392267
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Reference Count: N/A
Syncretic Literacy: Multiculturalism in Samoan American Families. Research Report No. 16.
Duranti, Alessandro; Ochs, Elinor
This report introduces the concept of syncretic literacy by examining an exchange in which a 6-year-old Samoan-American boy, in his urban Los Angeles (California) home, involves members of his extended family to complete homework. The study illustrates how English is sometimes used in ways that are consistent with the socialization practices typical of traditional learning environments in the home country and how different family members adopt distinct cultural strategies in their interaction with the boy within the same activity. Traditional Samoan-American learning environments are described, especially in syncretic literacy instruction settings, and the text includes photographs from the videotaped home environment. Findings contradict two common misconceptions of multiculturalism: that language is a precise indicator of cultural orientation, and that members of multicultural communities are in one culture at a time. In this home environment, syncretic literacy accounts for the ways in which a language is used for distinct cultural practices and the ways in which different cultural practices are merged within the same literacy activity. (Contains 48 references.) (NAV)
Descriptors: Child Development, Cultural Pluralism, Culture Conflict, Elementary School Students, Family Environment, Homework, Intercultural Communication, Literacy, Multilingualism, Parent Participation, Samoan Americans, Social Development
NCRCDSLL, 1118 22nd Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20037.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Teachers
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center for Research on Cultural Diversity and Second Language Learning, Santa Cruz, CA.