Understanding and enabling marketplace literacy in subsistence contexts: The development of a consumer and entrepreneurial literacy educational program in South India

Madhubalan Viswanathan, S. Gajendiran, R. Venkatesan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

To function in the economic realm, two important resources that individuals need are finances and know-how. Whereas there has been considerable attention on microfinancing, we describe an educational program that focuses on enabling generic skills about the marketplace and complements these important efforts. We conducted research aimed at understanding lives and marketplaces in subsistence contexts in urban and rural parts of a state in South India. We used the research as a basis for developing a consumer and entrepreneurial literacy educational program. This program uses the "know-why", or an understanding of marketplaces, as a basis for the know-how of being an informed buyer or seller. Despite the difficulties with abstract thinking that low-literate individuals experience, we enable deeper understanding of marketplaces by leveraging the social skills that participants bring to the program and relating educational content back to their lived experiences. Such understanding can enable individuals to place themselves on a path to lifelong learning. Implications of this work for research and practice in non-formal education are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)300-319
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Development
Volume28
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2008

Keywords

  • Consumer literacy
  • Entrepreneurial literacy
  • International education
  • Literacy
  • Marketplace literacy
  • Subsistence marketplaces

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science

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