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ERIC Number: EJ1169738
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Oct
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1947-5578
The "West" in Literacy
Bhattacharya, Usree
Berkeley Review of Education, v2 n2 p179-198 Oct 2011
This paper analyzes a construct that, while pervasive, is not often questioned or defined in literacy studies: the "West." Through a review of pertinent literature, I explore the ways in which problematical assumptions have undergirded its unqualified use in literacy theory. What is the "West," who is it, in literacy research? I argue against the assumption of "unmarkedness" of the "West" and some derived terms along three axes: by bringing attention to the geographicalspatial dimension of the construct, through the problematization of the alphabet, and by highlighting the colonial inheritance of the construct. My analysis explores some fundamental biases in the notion of "West," and invites its reassessment to arrive at a more particular and critically rigorous stance in literacy scholarship.
Berkeley Graduate School of Education, University of California, 5648 Tolman Hall, Berkeley, CA 94702. Tel: 510-328-3701; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A