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ERIC Number: EJ786523
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jun
Pages: 22
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1086-296X
Letters, Imagined Communities, and Literate Identities: Perspectives from Rural Ugandan Women
Kendrick, Maureen E.; Hissani, Hizzaya
Journal of Literacy Research, v39 n2 p195-216 Jun 2007
Historically, letter reading and writing have been pervasive across human societies, cultures, and communities (Barton & Hall, 2000). Like all literate activities, it derives its meaning and significance from how it is situated within cultural beliefs, values, and practices. Despite its prevalence, however, little is known about the meanings and uses of letter reading and writing in diverse cultural contexts. The purpose of this article is to examine the desire to independently read and write letters as a rationale for rural Ugandan women to join an adult literacy program. Drawing on sociocultural theories, and in particular, the frameworks of a literacy ecology of communities, communities of practice, and imagined communities, the authors use ethnographic techniques to explore the role of letter reading and writing in the lives of 15 women participating in an adult literacy program in 1 rural Ugandan community. The authors argue that letter reading and writing practices, personhood, and identity are intertwined within an imagined community to which these women hope to belong, and these imagined communities may play a critical role in their success in adult literacy programs.
Lawrence Erlbaum. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Uganda