Syncretic Literacy in a Samoan American Family

  • Alessandro Duranti
  • Elinor Ochs
Chapter
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 160)

Abstract

After examining three misconceptions of the concept of multiculturalisM., we introduce the concept of syncretic literacy to deal with how diverse cultural frameworks inform the organization of literacy activities by members of the Samoan American community in urban Los Angeles. On the basis of our earlier work in a rural Western Samoan community, we discuss the ways in which the strategies used by caregivers in traditional learning environments are also found in a Samoan American household in urban Southern California. By analyzing a sequence in which a young child asks for help with his homework assignment, we show that (a) the code used (e.g., English) is not always a good predictor of the participants’ cultural orientation and (b) members of multicultural communities can be in more than one culture at a time.

Keywords

Migration Arena Shoe Tama malO 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alessandro Duranti
    • 1
  • Elinor Ochs
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUCLAUSA
  2. 2.Department of Applied LinguisticsUCLAUSA

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