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ERIC Number: ED464342
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Mar-21
Pages: 9
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Women, Literacy, and the Management of Identity.
Donehower, Kim
This paper describes current phases of two research projects: a completed one in southern Appalachia and another one to begin in North Dakota. The paper explains that the Appalachian project investigated the effects the widespread stereotype of Appalachian illiteracy has had on Appalachian literacy learners; while the North Dakota study is going to focus on cases of autodidacticism, looking at the role of reading and writing in self-education. The paper suggests several interesting questions to pursue in research on women's literacy raised by both studies. It also briefly describes a method that might be particularly well-suited to research on these issues. The paper begins with the concept of literacy as a tool to "manage" identity--specifically, to manage identity in terms of membership in, or rejection of, particular social groups. It states that the Appalachian research performed was an attempt to understand the literacy choices individual female interviewees had made when they had at least three very different "sponsors" of literacy to choose from. It finds that literacy itself played a role in identity management. The paper suggests another compelling question for research into women's literacy--that autodidacts are women, and emphatically "not" men. It explains that, besides the usual research methods, another newer technique might be called "epistolary research," since the researcher/author exchanged letters with some of the female interviewees, focused largely on issues of literacy. (NKA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North Dakota