Mediation and Legal Literacy

Elizabeth C Tomlinson



This study uses fieldwork to investigate the sponsorship of legal literacy within a court mediation program. This examination of institutional involvement in literacy sponsorship demonstrates the ideological nature of literacy by showing the importance of context, investigating literacy-based relationships, and uncovering the intertwined nature of oral and written forms of discourse. Little research has examined the sponsor’s perspective on literacy, and this study also examines how sponsors may accrue and distribute benefits. Further, the study explicates an approach to literacy sponsorship through mediation which, while still embedded with disparate power relations, may provide an equitable literacy sponsorship model for other community organizations. 

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Publication of the Community Literacy Journal is made possible through the generous support of the English Department and the Writing and Rhetoric Program at Florida International University. The CLJ is a journal of the Conference on Community Writing.