Literacy in contexts of transnational professional practice: The case of the globalized professions in the United States
AuthorMiller, Bradley Dean, 1959-
KeywordsBusiness Administration, General.
Education, Sociology of.
Education, Adult and Continuing.
AdvisorMitchell, Judy Nichols
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.
AbstractOver the last fifty years, literacy and its study have moved considerably beyond the ability solely to read and write; it may be now viewed as a centrally mediating factor to interpret the signs engraved into the texts of our experiences and the fulcrum to participate more fully in our public and our private worlds. Among these realms of literacy, the world of work has borne witness to incredible changes in the form and content of professional occupation. With growth in global political, economic and technological interdependency, transfer of knowledge and professionals across borders accelerates and becomes more prevalent. Addressing the professional domains of literacy practices, this is a descriptive study designed to investigate how professionals experience and use literacy, be they literacy skills (technical knowledge or expertise) or literate behaviors (practical knowledge or know how) in transnational contexts of practice. Using an ethnographic methodology and multimethod strategies (informant interviews with professional stakeholders from the regulated, globalized professions in the United States in construction and design, business and finance, allied health, and technology and engineering; published professional development international training program curriculum review; and focus group sessions with accreditation, licensing and certifying body officials addressing the need for guidelines for professionals in transnational practice) data gathering and analysis are focused on input from quality assurance authorities, faculty from professional schools, multinational corporate human resource executives, and the practitioners themselves. In the broadest sense, the study's purpose is to map the relevant dimensions of literacy in transnational professional practice in the regulatory, cultural, linguistic, technological and locational realities of another country. The results of this study indicate that across the affinity groupings mentioned above, professionals in transnational contexts of practice operate within at least five categories of literacy engagement: resources, people, information, systems, technology, with literacy skills and literate behaviors being directed principally toward working with people and within systems overseas. An array of literacy insights are also provided, drawn from thematic congruencies across the three data sets.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Language, Reading and Culture