33 SES 13 A, A Review of Research Studies on Gender Issues
The New Literacy Studies research stream emerges as a new way of looking at literacy, away from the reduction of literacy to purely linguistic, grammatical, structuralist questions or focused on assessing specific literacy skills (Comings, 1995). Literacy is observed as a social practice (Street, 2003), through ethnographic studies where people's capacity for action begins to be observed. It also looks at how people interact with local media, public life, family and leisure activities (Barton and Hamilton, 1998), and how this affects their literacy. One of the essential premises of this new stream of research is that literacies are woven into the moments in which they are generated, and have no meaning outside of it (Leander & Boldt, 2013). This leads to a certain disempowerment of the text, of the one who consumes or produces it, with a consequent horizontality of powers (Kell, 2015) and puts the focus on "an ongoing reassembling of the human and the more-than-human" (Burnett & Merchant, 2018, p. ). The literate experience of classroom activity is therefore analysed from this perspective of an "affective encounter" (Leander & Ehret, 2019), not as an isolated activity. These new literacies are close to aspects such as the ephemeral, the sensory, the experiential (Ehret, 2017), as they emphasise aspects such as fluidity, affect and emergence (in the sense of what emerges, the spontaneous) (Burnett & Merchant, 2018).
NLS provides a framework of analysis that focuses on the social impact of literacy learning, i.e., studying literacy from a situated practice is a socio-cultural approach (Lankshear & Knobel, 2007). Thus, literacy practices are shaped by aspects of the individual, such as experiences and elements of identity (McArthur & Muhammad, 2017). Therefore, aspects such as race, gender, sexuality or age are social constructs that interfere with how literacy is received (Richardson, 2009).
For years, the discussion between literacy and gender has been relegated to the question of unequal access to education that has occurred throughout history in literacy targeting the binary gender structure (Gilbert & Gilbert, 2017; Gilbert, 2003). Clearly, the power of the social context affects the way in which literacy is received and given, which is itself gendered (Guzzetti et al., 2013). However, approaches to literacy have been presented as a neutral skill (Davies & Saltmarch, 2006). In the current era, some research is beginning to launch questions such as "what ways do educational discourses and practices simultaneously constitute students as gendered and literate subjects?" (Davies & Saltmarch, 2007, p. 5). It is undeniable that there are certain constructions in literate practices according to the gender of individuals (Butler, 2004), as the presence of patriarchal ideology and gender inequality is known to interfere with the literacy process (Maddox, 2007). In particular, the patriarchal social system evidences gender as a risk factor in minority groups (Singh & Sherchan, 2019). Based on this theoretical framework, it is interesting to learn how NEL research analyses and responds to literacy processes with a gendered approach.
This paper presents a review of the literature and research carried out specifically on the New Literacy Studies with a focus on gender. Consequently, the methodology of the review work is followed in order to ensure systematisation, which in this case consists of developing a systematic review with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA).The choice of this instrument lies in the purpose of asserting the rigorousness of the systematic review, as PRISMA has increased the quality of the works focused on systematic reviews and meta-analyses (Panic et al., 2013). The development of the systematic review through PRISMA consists of four phases: 1) Phase 1. Identification of research (scientific articles) on the object of study hosted in the WOS database (Web of Science Main Catalogue) and SCOPUS by filtering the following keywords: “New Literacy Studies”, “Literacy”, “gender”, “women”; 2) Screening: (a) First screening of scientific articles according to inclusion/exclusion criteria in relation to the year of publications (between 2000 and 2020) and language (English) and, (b) Second screening of studies after elimination of duplicate papers and analysis of abstracts using Mendeley also considering as inclusion/exclusion criteria the identification of interventions for changing literacy outcomes of the population under study (women); 3) Eligibility of articles for full text reading after following the protocol using the PRISMA-P checklist (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic review and Meta-Analysis Protocols, 2015) and discarding due to access problems; and 4) inclusion of selected articles for review and analysis.
The systematic review carried out through PRISMA allows the delimitation of the literary framework in the last two decades in relation to the actions in the context of New Literacy Studies and the attention to the gender component. The protocol established in the monitoring of the phases of the methodology has led to an exhaustive filtering of the results found in the WOS and SCOPUS databases, evidencing the need for studies in this field to include the subject matter that has been the object of analysis in the review. In fact, the theoretical corpus found in the results of the initial searches already made it clear that the volume of this line of research was limited, as only 111 results were found in WOS and 238 results in SCOPUS in the first phase. These were reduced to 237 in the first screening of the second phase, and were minimised in subsequent phases. Among the findings, first, we observe how gender, race, religion and class intercede in literacy practices. Moreover, the inclusion of information and communication technologies (ICT) in literacy practices as an element of social transformation is particularly revealing. This shows ICT as an element that breaks with verticality and introduces aspects such as social inequality and the community component (Coiro, Knobel, Lankshear & Leu, 2008). Thus, a broader review should consider how ICTs intercede in the practices of women immersed in patriarchal and minority cultures as they relate to the visual, the spatial and the digital, which implies investigating more specific issues such as materiality, framing, design and production of these new literacies (Albers & Harste, 2007; Kress & Jewitt, 2003).
Albers, P., & Harste, J. C. (2007). The arts, new literacies, and multimodality. English Education, 40(1), 6-20. Burnett, C., & Merchant, G. (2018). Literacy-as-event: accounting for relationality in literacy research. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 1-12. Butler, J. 1997. Excitable Speech: A Politics of the Performative. Routledge Butler, J. (2004). Undoing gender. Psychology Press. Comings, J. P. (1995). Literacy skill retention in adult students in developing countries. International Journal of Educational Development, 15(1), 37-45. Davies, B., & Saltmarsh, S. (2006). Gender and literacy. In C. Skelton, B. Francis, & L. Smulyan (eds.), The Sage handbook of gender and education (pp. 236-248). Sage. Davies, B., & Saltmarsh, S. (2007). Gender economies: Literacy and the gendered production of neo‐liberal subjectivities. Gender and Education, 19(1), 1-20. Gee, J. 2004. Situated Language and Learning: A Critique of Traditional Schooling. Routledge. Gilbert, P. (2003) Gender, talk and silence: speaking and listening in the classroom. In: G. Bull & M. Anstey (Eds) The literacy lexicon (pp. 183-194). Prentice Hall. Gilbert, R., & Gilbert, P. (2017). Masculinity goes to school. Routledge. Guzzetti, B. J., Young, J. P., Gritsavage, M. M., Fyfe, L. M., & Hardenbrook, M. (2013). Reading, writing, and talking gender in literacy learning. Routledge. Jewitt, C., & Kress, G. (2003). Multimodal literacy . Peter Lang. Kell, C. (2015). Ariadne’s thread: Literacies, scale and meaning-making across space and time. In C. Stroud & M. Prinsloo (Eds.), Language, literacy and diversity: Moving words (pp. 72–91). Routledge. Maddox, B. (2007). What Can Ethnographic Studies Tell Us about the Consequences of Literacy? Comparative Education, 43(2), 253-271. https://doi.org/10.1080/03050060701362607 McArthur, S. A., & Muhammad, G. E. (2017). Black Muslim girls navigating multiple oppositional binaries through literacy and letter writing. Educational studies, 53(1), 63–77. https://doi.org/10.1080/00131946.2016.1263635 Panic, N., Leoncini, E., de Belvis, G., Ricciardi, W. & Boccia, S. (2013). Evaluation of the endorsement of the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analysis (PRISMA) statement on the quality of published systematic review and meta-analyses. PLoS One, 8(12):e83138. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0083138 Richardson, E. (2009). My ill literacy narrative: growing up Black, po and a girl, in the hood. Gender and Education, 21(6), 753-767. https://doi.org/10.1080/09540250903117082 Singh, A. & Sherchan, D. (2019). Declared ‘literate’: Subjectivation through decontextualised literacy practices. Studies in the Education of Adults, 51, 1-15. https://doi.org/10.1080/02660830.2019.1603573
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