The Literacy Myth: Cultural Integration and Social Structure in the Nineteenth Century (Google eBook)

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Transaction Publishers, Jan 1, 1991 - History - 352 pages
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Harvey Graff's pioneering study presents a new and original interpretation of the place of literacy in nineteenth-century society and culture. Based upon an intensive comparative historical analysis, employing both qualitative and quantitative techniques, and on a wide range of sources, The Literacy Myth reevaluates the role typically assigned to literacy in historical scholarship, cultural understanding, economic development schemes, and social doctrines and ideologies.

  

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Contents

The Moral Bases of Literacy Society Economy and Social Order
21
LITERACY AND SOCIAL STRUCTURE IN THE NINETEENTHCENTURY CITY
49
Illiterates and Literates in Urban Society The MidNineteenth Century
51
Persistence Mobility and Literacy
117
The Children of the Illiterate Education Work and Mobility
155
LITERACY AND SOCIETY
193
Literacy Jobs and Industrialization
195
Literacy and Criminality
235
Literacy Quantity and Quality
269
Sources for the Historical Study of Literacy in North America and Europe
325
Literacy and the Census
329
Classification of Occupations
335
Illiterates Occupations 1861
337
A Note on the Record Linkage
341
Subject Index
345
Copyright

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Page 3 - A person is literate when he has acquired the essential knowledge and skills which enable him to engage in all those activities in which literacy is required for effective functioning in his group and community and whose attainments in reading, writing and arithmetic make it possible for him to continue to use these skills towards his own and the community's development and for active participation in the life of his country.
Page 24 - But these grievances operated within a popular consensus as to what were legitimate and what were illegitimate practices in marketing, milling, baking, etc. This in its turn was grounded upon a consistent traditional view of social norms and obligations, of the proper economic functions of several parties within the community, which, taken together, can be said to constitute the moral economy of the poor.
Page 6 - Literacy writes that: the twentieth century inherited a mystique of literacy born out of ... two tendencies. One, essentially utilitarian, was committed to the functional uses of literacy as a medium for the spread of practical information that could lead to individual and social progress; the other, essentially aesthetic and spiritual, was committed to the uses of literacy for salvaging the drooping spirit of Western man from the death of religion and the ravages of progress (P- 3).
Page xxvi - ... a regular feature of the young's life course. Many persons, most prominently social and economic leaders and social reformers, grasped the uses of schooling and the vehicle of literacy for promoting the values, attitudes, and habits deemed essential to order, integration, cohesion, and certain forms of progress.
Page 3 - A person is literate who can with understanding both read and write a short simple statement on his everyday life.
Page xxv - From the classical era forward, leaders of polities and churches, reformers as well as conservers, have recognized the uses of literacy and schooling. Often they have perceived unbridled, untempered literacy as potentially dangerous, a threat to social order, political integration, economic productivity, and patterns of authority.

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