ERIC Number: ED392938
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992
Women and Literacy: An Emerging Discourse.
Women have been silenced through their exclusion from the dominant discourse of il/literacy. The construction of an illiterate population has been part of an "othering" process by the state and serves to create a national ideology of illiteracy that locates the blame for educational deficiencies in the individual, rather than in the structural inequalities within society. Women must move beyond looking at individuals to the processes of production to see how the practices of the dominant discourse are lodged in social relations. An emerging feminist discourse is exploring the issue of literacy. First, it is examining the social forces that restrict women from pursuing their desire to engage in literacy practices that reflect the specificity of their needs, including social disapproval and situational barriers, the sexual division of labor, the control of women's sexuality. Second, this feminist discourse is exploring what must change to meet women's needs. Research shows that women in literacy programs want both social contact and an educational event. Women-positive programs can be a first step in reducing women's isolation. Small groups could move from the personal to the political. Third, the feminist discourse is investigating what resistance literacy workers might encounter as they actively begin to support women. The resistance comes from funders, colleagues, male students, and the male partners of the women students. (Contains 44 references.) (YLB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A