Literacy mediation in marriage migration from Pakistan to the United Kingdom: appropriating bureaucratic discourses to get a visa

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Capstick, Tony (2016)

This article explores the literacy practices of a Mirpuri family and the ways family members challenge the bureaucratic discourses of migration as part of the literacy mediation they seek when applying for a visa. The central issue is to identify the institutional literacy practices in the visa application process by combining aspects of the Discourse-Historical Approach (DHA) in Critical Discourse Studies (CDS) with New Literacy Studies (NLS). The article traces how visa texts are reused and recontextualised as they move between physical and social spaces in Pakistan and the United Kingdom. The aim is to identify how far the analysis of intertextual and interdiscursive relationships between discourses of migration can enhance the analysis of the literacy mediation that marginalised groups seek at a time of increasing curbs on family migration from non-European Economic Authority countries to the UK. Tracing recontextualisation in this way provides a combined framework for exploring the operations of power when analysing the extent to which bureaucratic discourses are challenged when text producers and consumers seek help filling in forms.
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