Literacy and Cultural Thoughtfulness: The Power and Helplessness Within and Beyond Cultural Boundaries
Literacy cannot be separated from peoples' sociocultural contexts and from their self-conceptualizations within those
contexts. A person's literacy functioning will depend upon the role literacy plays in meeting one's goals and in the
resulting construction of one's self-image. Within context, not only written language, but the interaction between written
and oral language modes becomes important in defining literacy competence.
The purposes of this paper are to: (1) understand how literacy and subcultures interact, and (2) to consider the
implications of cultural boundaries for literacy development.