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Sandra Cuban, Dept Educational Research

Date: 15 November 2006 Time: 4.00 - 5.30pm

Department of Educational Research Seminar

Title:"Cause You Got to Take Orders": Women's Educational Strategies for Coping With the Demands of the Service Sector

Location: Institute of Advanced Studies - Meeting Room 2

AbstractBut you know, you need education, you do. I would even go to McDonalds. Any place. No matter where you go, you have to read and write. Cause you got to take orders. You got to read the thing. I mean like everything is really reading. So it's hard. (quote from a woman in a Hawai'i-based literacy programme)This presentation focuses on four studies that examine women's education as both an adaptive response and a site of resistance to the difficult demands of a highly regulated, female-dominated service sector. The community orientation within the programmes offered opportunities for disenfranchised women workers to exchange information, learn new literacies, and develop egalitarian support systems where they would otherwise not do so at work. The first (two-year) study takes place on the island of Hawaii, which faced tsunami-like socio-economic changes in the late 1990s, with the demise of the sugar plantations and the replacement of the service sector, mainly tourism and retail, in addition to the disappearance of welfare. I explore how women in this community sought out a community-based programme to buffer the changes. The second study, lasting for three years, focuses on the ways women workers, around the mainland U.S., used community-based programmes to enact their citizenship, and develop locally-based support systems. The third study focuses on undocumented Mexican women cleaners who were invisible at work, but, not in the community programme where they went for English language learning in Seattle. The fourth study, which is in the beginning stages, focuses on women migrant workers in the service sector in Cumbria, and, their strategies for coping with the 'fast-capital' demands of their workplaces, and the types of education they desire and use for their own purposes.

Additional information:All welcome, please notify Ann-Marie Houghton if you are planning to attend.

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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD
United Kingdom

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