Rewriting Literacy: Culture and the Discourse of the Other

Rewriting Literacy: Culture and the Discourse of the Other

Rewriting Literacy: Culture and the Discourse of the Other

Rewriting Literacy: Culture and the Discourse of the Other

Synopsis

This book links such fields as linguistics, anthropology, sociolinguistics, and education to illustrate how the problem of literacy is embedded in a social and cultural context. The majority of the essays are based on original, primary research and bring to light important concerns about the highly political nature of literacy. These concerns, often ignored by the more traditionally oriented educationalists, are the highlights of these essays that explore literacy from a critical perspective.

Excerpt

All of the authors in this book perform a valuable theoretical service. They analyze some central questions relevant to the debate that is increasingly being waged around the relationship between literacy, culture, and difference in education. They discuss what it means to restructure school curricula in order to address the needs of those groups who traditionally have been generally excluded within the dominant discourse of schooling. The authors in their respective interventions raise a number of important questions about the importance of redefining literacy as a form of cultural politics, a redefinition that would provide the conditions for subordinate groups to learn the knowledge and skills necessary for self and social empowerment. Everyone needs to be able to live in a society in which everyone has the opportunity to govern and shape history rather than be consigned to its margins.

Literacy in its varied versions, many of which are discussed in detail both in Candace Mitchell's excellent preface and demonstrated by the authors included in the book, is about the practice of representation as a means of organizing, inscribing, and containing meaning. It is also about practices of representation that disrupt or rupture existing textual, epistemological, and ideological systems. In this sense, literacy becomes critical to the degree that it makes problematic the very structure and practice of representation; that is, it focuses attention on the importance of acknowledging that meaning is not fixed, and that to be literate is to undertake a dialogue with others who speak from different histories, locations, and experiences. Literacy is a discursive practice in which difference becomes crucial for understanding not simply how to read, write, or develop aural skills, but also to recognize that the identi-

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.