Presentation Details

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Eleventh International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning

Literacy Demands In People In A Post-Industrial, Knowledge-Based Economy: A Latino Woman (Re)Designing Her Social Future Through Text(S) In A Computer And Family Literacy Class

Juan Pablo Jiménez.

The purpose of this paper is to present a one-year critical ethnographic case study that demonstrates how the literacy practices a Latino woman engages in through her participation in a computer and family Literacy class, in a post-industrial North Eastern American city, relates to her developing identities as a mother, worker and citizen. The construct of “third Space” (Gutierrez et al., 1995) is used as a heuristic for demonstrating how the construction of the classroom, like the construction of society, is a dynamic system of relationships and structures. The notion of multiliteracies (New London Group, 1996) is used to interpret the interaction of this student with the different Available Designs (texts) from which she draws upon showing how she appropriates cultural tools and texts and engages in new literacy practices within her community. The Author combines ethnographic classroom research and microanalysis of text to examine how her multiple subjectivities (Pierce-Norton, 1995, 2000;Weedon, 1997) are been (co)constructed through her engagement with available texts and her many literacies development within the interplay of the multiple sites of her self (Holland, 1998). Implications for studying the social dynamics and literacy development of Latino families through their engagement in new literacy practices regarding access to multiple literacies (electronic literacy, second native language literacy) are discussed. Furthermore, this study extends the discussion of “Digital inequality” (DiMaggio and Hargittai, 2001; Warschauer, 2003)) as it relates to the study of the promotion of skills, social support, and autonomy, while carefully paying attention to the underlying purpose of having access to learning in, and about, the digital world.


Juan Pablo Jiménez  (United States)
Doctoral Student in Language Literacy & culture
School of Education
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

A native of Colombia, Juan Pablo jiménez is a Doctoral student in Language Literacy & Culture in the School of Education, at the University of Massachusetts, in Amherst, MA, United States; and an adult ESL and computer literacy instructor at The Community Education Project, in Holyoke, Massachusetts. His research interest includes Second language literacy, technology and literacy and issues regarding digital equity.

  • Multiliteracies
  • Adult Literacy
  • Digital Divide
  • Available Designs
  • Subjectivities
Person as Subject
  • Jina Romero

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)