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Becoming Activist: Collaboratively Documenting the Critical Literacy Praxis of Urban Youth Organizers

Bishop, Elizabeth M (2014) Becoming Activist: Collaboratively Documenting the Critical Literacy Praxis of Urban Youth Organizers. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This research study explores the critical literacy praxis of five urban youth organizers. As a literacy study, this research answers two central questions: How do urban youth organizers engage in critical literacy praxis as they become activists? How do urban youth organizers articulate a vision of themselves as activists? Critical literacy praxis is a kind of literacy about structures, structural violence, and power systems that involves engaging in cycles of action and reflection around social and political issues in the lives of learners. The research design takes a hybrid approach to critical discourse analysis through a taxonomy of critical literacy, answering the questions through qualitative interviews that explore polyvocality. Findings from this study offer practical implications for youth activists, literacy educators, social science researchers and community organizers alike. Youth organizing programming, like the Human Rights Activist Project, can offer a generative, safe space within community-based organizations from which to engage young people in critical reflection upon their social and political contexts, to collectively envision and take action for positive change. As a space not congested by external measures of formal education, organizing projects provide an informal youth development platform through which critical literacy learning is more fully realized. The participants of this study all call for further creation of such safe spaces for ethical, intersubjective, social justice youth activism.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Bishop, Elizabeth
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee CoChairMyers,
Committee CoChairCrawford, Patriciapcrawfor@pitt.eduPCRAWFOR
Committee MemberGomez,
Committee MemberGunzenhauser, Mikemgunzen@pitt.eduMGUNZEN
Committee MemberLuskey,
Committee MemberMenon,
Date: 15 January 2014
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 9 December 2013
Approval Date: 15 January 2014
Submission Date: 19 December 2013
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 193
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Instruction and Learning
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: critical literacy, youth organizing
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2014 23:01
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:16


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