Literacy, new capitalism, and new work orders: Case studies from school-to-work education
AuthorWhitman, Robert Leader
AdvisorMcCarty, Teresa L.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation examines literacy practices in settings that have been transformed by changes in capitalism of the last forty years. These settings are characterized by increased technologization, accrediting processes, team-building, and a requirement for independent critical thinking on the part of workers. The two school-to-work programs included in the dissertation are biotechnology and nursing. Both were sited in a two-year urban community college and both had the characteristics mentioned above. However they also provided a contrast it two ways. First, nursing is a traditional practice that has recently been transformed by changes in capitalism while biotechnology is a completely new field that didn't exist forty years ago. Second, students in these school-to-work programs were pointed towards different class positions within their work settings; biotechnology students toward elite positions, and nurses toward a more traditional and less elite position. The dissertation examines how apprentice workers in these settings learn new practices of a changed capitalism through literacy and other discursive processes as they move back and forth between school and work settings. It also examines students as they learn other aspects of capitalism through the grammars of their respective fields. These include gendered work identities, highly prescriptive critical thinking processes that bear the footprints of a sociohistorical past, and new processes of thinking and acting that are characteristic of a new moment in capitalism.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Language, Reading & Culture