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Title: Reading and writing across transnational space : an exploration of literacy and learning in the lives of a group of migrant domestic workers
Author: North, A. O.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7964 7586
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis is concerned with the literacy practices and learning experiences of a group of female migrant domestic workers from Nepal and India, who, between June 2008 and July 2011, attended an informal learning support group at the Migrant Resource Centre, London. It reports on the analysis of ethnographic data collected over this period through the observation of group sessions, the recording of texts, and life history interviews. Drawing on insights from the New Literacy Studies and the conceptualisation of literacy as a social practice, the thesis explores the values and meanings that these women attach to literacy and their literacy learning. In particular, it examines the way in which their emerging literacy practices in English affect and are affected by the dislocations and tensions that, as migrant domestic workers, they experience as they move and make connections between different transnational spaces. In doing so it engages with and contributes to recent debates within literacy research regarding the relationship between the global and the local and the need to pay closer attention to theorising and understanding the global - or transcontextual - as well as the local dynamics of literacy practices. It argues that understanding the transnational nature of the women's lives, and the way in which their literacy practices interact with processes of power and agency as they navigate across different contexts, is essential to understanding their engagement with different forms of literacy learning and the complex ways in which literacy is threaded through their social and material practices. The analysis that is developed throughout the thesis suggests a need for a more complex conceptualisation of context and of the relationship between the local and global within literacy research which pays attention to the way in which literacy practices may interact with processes entailing, movement, connection and disconnection between transnational spaces.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available