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ERIC Number: EJ1049608
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jan
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0741-0883
Writing through Bureaucracy: Migrant Correspondence and Managed Mobility
Leonard, Rebecca Lorimer
Written Communication, v32 n1 p87-113 Jan 2015
Contemporary international migration produces a great deal of bureaucratic writing activity. This article reports on a study of one bureaucratic literacy practice--correspondence--of 25 international migrants in the United States. Contextual and practice-based analysis of data collected through literacy history interviews shows that (a) by virtue of living transnational lives, migrant writers develop correspondence practices that seem vernacular, but in fact take on the hegemonic qualities of modern bureaucracy, and (b) when composing everyday correspondence, migrant writers, rather than being subject to bureaucracy's whims, take up bureaucratic roles that allow them to manage their own and others' economic and geographic mobility. These findings complicate claims that migrant correspondence simply maintains relationships or fosters cultural cohesion. Migrant writers, while often corresponding to keep in touch with family and friends elsewhere, also adopt the practices of bureaucracy, becoming participants in the management of people on the move.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A