Identifying and Mapping Issues, Theories, & Research in Asian/American Rhetoric(s): An Annotated Bibliography

Minor Re/Visions: Asian American Literacy Narratives as a Rhetoric of Citizenship

Posted in Asian American Rhetoric(s) by Jennifer Sano-Franchini on May 7, 2009

Young, Morris. Minor Re/Visions: Asian American Literacy Narratives as a Rhetoric of Citizenship. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 2004.

Minor Re/Visions examines the ways literacy and race intersect in American culture, in particular, the ways the perception of a person’s citizenship is overdetermined because of competing ideological constructions about literacy and race. The processes of reading and writing literacy narratives is one means for people of color to develop and articulate their negotiation of citizenship, in particular arguing for ‘cultural citizenship’…which attends ‘not only to dominant exclusions and marginalizations, but also to subordinate aspirations for and definitions of enfranchisement…’” (7) Young considers literacy beyond skills of reading and writing, articulating it as a “power used against others to maintain systems of oppression… Not “inherently ‘good’ or even neutral…, it becomes a set of practices… used by different people for different purposes” (148). These practices are grounded in “‘both behavior and the social and cultural conceptualizations that give meaning to the uses of reading and/or writing’” (10). While literacy is oftentimes taken for granted, it “‘has proven to be a difficult and contentious topic of investigation because its place in American culture has become so complex and conflicted’” (10). (see also pp. 11, 24)