The caving in and the crawling out: creating intergenerational vernacular food literacies

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Competing ideologies of literacy are well documented in the literature, articulating the gap between everyday literacies in people’s lives and formalised literacy norms. Despite this recognition of literacy as ‘situated’, the gap in perceptions across generations regarding knowledge content and learning forms remains underexplored. This article attempts to bridge this gap by investigating the effects of intergenerational learning on indigenous farming communities in western India from a vernacular food literacy and agricultural perspective. Examining what social meanings are ascribed to literacy using a qualitative case study, it investigates the value attached to different knowledges across the generations. Problematising literacy, it explores what knowledge is considered valid and worth preserving for sustainable development. The author argues that intergenerational knowledge and everyday literacy practices contest the hierarchies of learning and call for an urgent reconstruction of literacy from a vernacular food perspective.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCompare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education
Early online date30 Jan 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Jan 2023


  • India
  • Intergenerational
  • farming
  • indigenous
  • literacy
  • vernacular

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