So You Don’t Get Tricked: Counter-Narratives of Literacy in a Rural Mexican Community

Susan V. Meyers


A recent nine-month field study considered the relationships among
school-sponsored and community forms of literacy practices in a migrantsending area of rural Mexico. While many teachers in rural Mexico argue
that students should remain in school rather than migrate to the U.S., this
study demonstrates the ways in which schools in rural Mexico often do not
recognize the needs of the communities that they serve. As a result, students
in these schools often develop a pragmatic orientation toward formal literacy.
While many of the skills that they learn help them navigate commercial and
government bureaucracies, these students do not adopt the values embedded
in formal education. Rather, they implicitly question the promise of education
as a neutral means to social and economic mobility.

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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.