Four girls produce and transform texts situated in the arts and literacies: Accessing discourses of schooling, heritage, and difference at Taller Puertorriqueno

Anne Marie Roberti, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

This dissertation study examines the ways a group of pre-adolescent girls represent themselves and others as well as express their perspectives about contemporary social issues. Conceptually, I draw from the fields of text semiotics, postmodern applied linguistics, social semiotics, critical linguistics and cultural studies as resources for interpreting and analyzing the data the girls and I co-constructed through our experiences participating in this study. Over a period of ten months, I conducted ethnographic research in their homes and neighborhoods, as well as at Taller Puertorriqueño, a Puerto Rican arts and cultural education non-profit organization in which the children were involved. I participated with the girls in the literary, performance, martial, and visual arts classes provided by Taller Puertorriqueño 's Cultural Awareness Program (CAP); and in addition, spent many hours in the children's homes and taking part in recreational activities. The study focuses on the ways that the children constructed knowledge about themselves, others, and social issues outside school. In contrast to reports in the mass media in the United States, and in Philadelphia in particular, which tend to position Spanish-speaking children as lacking schooled literacy practices which may facilitate their success in the work world, this study documents a wide range of textual practices—including but not limited to literacy practices—in which these children engaged. The children drew on these practices as a means of expressing and interpreting who they perceived themselves to be as well as to demonstrate some degree of awareness of the control they exerted over the texts and practices that represented their interests. ^

Subject Area

Education, Bilingual and Multicultural|Anthropology, Cultural|Sociology, Theory and Methods

Recommended Citation

Anne Marie Roberti, "Four girls produce and transform texts situated in the arts and literacies: Accessing discourses of schooling, heritage, and difference at Taller Puertorriqueno" (January 1, 2004). Dissertations available from ProQuest. Paper AAI3125891.
http://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI3125891

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