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Literacy and MotheringHow Women’s Schooling Changes the Lives of the World's Children$
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Robert A. LeVine, Sarah LeVine, Beatrice Schnell-Anzola, Meredith L. Rowe, and Emily Dexter

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195309829

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195309829.001.0001

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Contexts of Mothers’ Lives

Contexts of Mothers’ Lives

(p.61) 4 Contexts of Mothers’ Lives
Literacy and Mothering

Robert A. Levine

Sarah E. Levine

Beatrice Schnell-Anzola

Meredith L. Rowe

Emily Dexter

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides an overview of the community-level field research on maternal literacy carried out in four countries: Mexico, Nepal, Venezuela and Zambia. It begins with the ways in which fieldwork was conducted and how it changed. The socioeconomic, institutional and demographic trends and local contexts affecting women in those communities are described, for the period when they were school-aged children and years later when they were mothers. The social characteristics of the samples are reported. There is also a description of the contexts of mothers in the UNICEF Nepal Literacy and Health Survey carried out after the four-country study. The substantial variation between communities in urbanization, income, average level of women’s education and mortality and fertility levels, even though demographic transition was under way in all the field sites, suggest that they represent drastically differing environments in which to test hypotheses about the effects of schooling.

Keywords:   community-level field research, maternal literacy, Mexico, Nepal, Venezuela and Zambia, demographic trends, socioeconomic factors, UNICEF, literacy assessment, urbanization, income, women’s education, mortality levels, fertility levels, demographic transition

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