Gender, Literacy & Power

My earliest work as a researcher – in and around my dissertation – centered on gender and other dimensions of power in language and literacy. While I no longer focus specifically on gender, ways of thinking about gender – as a socially constructed category that both shapes and is shaped by everyday cultural practices (including literacy) – has continued to influence my thinking, and I consider how practices are always shaped by (and shaping of) culturally constructed ideas about race, class and other categories as well. These influences may be evident in my most recent work: Immigrant Children in Transcultural Spaces: Language, Learning and Love.

Below are much earlier publications that provide the foundation for this work.


Barrie Thorne, Marjorie Faulstich Orellana, Wan Shun Eva Lam and Anna Chee. (2003). Raising Children – and Growing Up – in Transnational Contexts: Comparative Perspectives on Generation and Gender. In Hondagneu-Sotelo, Pierrette (Ed.) Gender and U.S. Immigration: Contemporary Trends. (pp. 241-262). Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Marjorie Faulstich Orellana. (1999). Good Guys, ‘Bad’ Girls: Identity Construction by Latina and Latino Student Writers. In Mary Bucholtz, A.C. Liang, and Laurel Sutton (Eds.) Reinventing Identities: Social Categories in Language and Gender Research. (pp. 582-592). Oxford University Press. (Earlier version appears as “Good Guys, ‘Bad’ Girls: Gendered Identity Construction in a Writing Workshop.” Resources in Education. Washington, D.C.: ERIC Clearinghouse on Teaching and Teacher Education, April, 1995.)

Additional materials related to this work can be found at the Reinventing Identities website:

Marjorie Faulstich Orellana. (1999). Language, Play, and Identity Formation: Framing the Issues. In Barbara Kamler (Ed.) Constructing Gender and Difference: Critical Research Perspectives on Early Childhood. (pp. 97-118). Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.

Marjorie Faulstich Orellana. (1996). Negotiating power through language in classroom meetings. Linguistics and Education, 8, 334-365. (Earlier version appears as “Negotiating power: Critical literacy practices in a bilingual classroom” in Resources in Education. Washington, D.C.: ERIC Clearinghouse on Language and Linguistics.)

Michelle Commeyras, Marjorie Faulstich Orellana, Bruce Bertram, and Lori Neilsen. (1996). Why feminist theory and literacy research?: Four responses. Reading Research Quarterly, 31 (4): 458-468.

Marjorie Faulstich Orellana. (1995). Texts, talk, tasks, and take-up: Literacy as a gendered social practice in two bilingual classrooms, Reading Research Quarterly, 30 (4): 674-708.

Marjorie Faulstich Orellana. (1995). “Saliéndose con la suya: Literacy, gender and choice in a bilingual classroom.” In Mary Bucholtz, A.C. Liang, Laurel Sutton, & Caitlin Hines. Cultural Performances: Proceedings of the Berkeley Women and Language Conference. Berkeley, CA: Berkeley Women and Language Group.