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ERIC Number: ED525806
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 314
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1244-8793-9
Latina Mothers' Enactments of Agency: Achieving Desires through Discourses in Family Literacy
Toso, Blaire Willson
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Pennsylvania State University
This qualitative study used a post-structural feminist framework to examine how the literacy and mothering discourses women encountered in a family literacy program assisted or constrained them in enacting agency. Employing a narrative approach, combined with other methodological strategies (ethnographic observations, discourse analysis of program documents), the researcher gathered life history interviews from five Mexican immigrant mothers enrolled in an Even Start program. Their narratives demonstrated how the literacy and parenting discourses inherent in this educational program shaped some of their daily practices and self-perceptions. The findings demonstrate that the women used these discourses to expand their identities, to meet personal goals, and to gain greater power in some spheres of their life, such as relationships with their husbands and other family members. On the other hand, this study also elucidated how new discourses conflicted with their ethnic discourses, creating tension, contradictions, or added burdens. The study concludes that: (1) an expanded idea of agency is necessary to determine how learners navigate their educational and social lives; (2) discourses are simultaneously enabling and constraining, allowing opportunities for creativity, resistance, and identity development; and (3) educators and policymakers need to consider the consequences of the messages inherent in educational funding and programming. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A