Date of Award

Spring 1998

Project Type


Program or Major

Reading and Writing Instruction

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

First Advisor

Thomas H Schram


In this study the researcher describes and interprets the experiences with Projeto (Con)texto, a research group created in Northeast Brazil composed of eleven people with different levels of formal schooling, social classes and ages varying from 14 to 50 years old. The researcher explores the dynamics of the Brazilian relational universe and its impact on people's lives, the multiple forms of letramento (literacies) used by people in a certain cultural context to construe and convey meaning, and the process of strengthening of one's self to deal with cultural conflicts through cultural healing.

The researcher gathered descriptive data during one year of involved participation with the eleven members of Projeto (Con)texto and formal and informal interviews with them. The researcher had a dual role in this research: first, he was a researcher conducting fieldwork for a doctoral dissertation; and second, he was a social interventionist facilitating a process of cultural change. The approach used for the development of this research qualifies for the category of socially responsive research,

This study helped the participants in Projeto (Con)texto to understand the relational universe in which they live, bringing to a level of awareness why they do what they do in their lives. It prompted participants to liberate themselves from an oppressive culture that determined the passive role which many of them assumed in their cultural context. Projeto (Con)texto helped the participants to gain voice by discovering the roles of reading and writing in their lives and the multiple forms of communication and expression that can be used in their cultural context to construe and convey meaning. Projeto (Con)texto created an opportunity for cultural healing in Northeast Brazil.