Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Laboring to Learn: Women’s Literacy & Poverty in the Post-Welfare Era


Laboring to Learn: Women’s Literacy & Poverty in the Post-Welfare Era
Lorna Rivera, Ph.D. University of Illinois Press, 2008.
Throughout this study, the voices and experiences of formerly homeless women challenge cultural stereotypes about poor women, showing in personal and structural terms how social and economic forces shape and restrict opportunities for low-income women of color.

Rivera argues that poverty is produced and reproduced when women with low literacy skills are pushed into welfare-to-work programs and denied education. She examines how various discourses about individual choice and self-sufficiency shape the purposes of literacy, how low-income women express a sense of personal responsibility for being poor, and how neoliberal ideologies and practices compromise the goals of critical literacy programs. Throughout this study, the voices and experiences of formerly homeless women challenge cultural stereotypes about poor women, showing in personal and structural terms how social and economic forces shape and restrict opportunities for low-income women of color.

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