The Other Women in Dialogic Literary Gatherings

Carme Garcia Yeste, Maria Padrós Cuxart, Eduard Mondéjar Torra, Beatriz Villarejo Carballido


This paper is based on Freire’s conception of dialogic action, which highlights the role of dialogue in raising awareness and critical consciousness (Freire, 1970). Drawing on this conception, Dialogic Literary Gatherings (DLG) were created in 1978 in a working-class neighbourhood in Barcelona. The purpose was not only to contribute to adults’ literacy learning but also to support their empowerment towards personal and social transformations. Specifically, we examine four non-academic women who have participated in DLG for more than 20 years and who have been traditionally excluded from decision-making processes in various personal and social spaces. We demonstrate how these women transform their self-concept as readers and learners by engaging in reading and enjoying classic literature, thus becoming empowered as social agents. This empowerment has occurred through several pathways for engagement. DLG allow participants to become confident readers who perceive themselves as culturally competent such that they are capable of actively participating in scholarly forums. Participants become more socially engaged and become involved in social movements to support marginalised communities. The transformative dialogues prompted by individually reading aloud and collectively discussing the morals and social values of the classics (i.e., gender issues) mobilise participants to engage in women’s movements, opening the feminist arena to include so-called ‘other women’.


Other Women, empowerment, dialogic literary gathering, classic literature

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RASP - Research on Ageing and Social Policy | ISSN: 2014-671X

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