For the Family: One Teen’s Self-Selected Digital Literacy Practices

Maria Del Rosario Barillas, Laurie MacGillivray


As technology becomes a basic necessity in the lives of American families, populations who in the past have not had access to technology, will begin to engage with it as part of their daily functions. Consequently, the way that these families, and especially the children take hold of digital literacies, will depend on their cultural ways of knowing and their economic needs (Browning- Aiken, 2004; De La Peña & Orellana, 2007). In contrast to studies that document the limited access to technology in minority populations because of economic pressures (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2004; Kupperman & Fishman, 2002), this paper focuses on one Mexicano teen’s active participation with technology outside of school. It shows how economic need in the family served as the driving force for the purchase and use of the computer.


digital literacy practices; minority populations; Mexicano teenageer; technology; economic pressures

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