Researching Power and Identity in Literacy Practices in Malawi
This book is based on an in-depth ethnographic study of the National Adult Literacy Programme (NALP) in Malawi. It highlights the significance of exploring power and identity in literacy studies. Employing the concept of 'figured worlds' to study literacy as a social practice, the book focuses on understanding power relationships and identity in literacy practices. It illustrates how literacy identities and power relationships of some local community members continuously vary from one context to another and, in some cases, even within the same context. Using notions such as agency, artefact, resistance, shame and positioning, the book demonstrates the potential of the concept of figured worlds to address some of the questions raised within the New Literacy Studies - especially those concerning power and identity.The book also illustrates the value of an ethnographic approach for studying adult literacy, by exploring the challenges faced by the researcher in gaining access to community members' activities, and the opportunity to experience first-hand what instructors go through in facilitating adult literacy lessons.
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