Literacy in Theory and Practice

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Cambridge University Press, 1984 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 243 pages
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This book challenges conventional theories about literacy, and the practices which often arise from them. It attempts to provide a new perspective through which the variety of literacy practices across different cultures can be viewed and from which the practical issues that arise in specific literacy campaigns and programmes can be approached. Dr Street first examines the explicit theories developed about literacy within different academic disciplines, on the premise that these underlie statements about literacy within development campaigns and in everyday usage. He analyses in detail arguments about the 'technical' and 'neutral' nature of literacy and its supposed 'cognitive' consequences in the work of some psychologists, linguists and social anthropologists. He claims that these amount to a coherent but flawed model that he terms the 'autonomous' model of literacy. Against this he poses an 'ideological' model, one which pays greater attention to the social structure. He attempts to bring together recent shifts in this direction in writings on literacy and to construct a coherent model for further work.
  

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Contents

The Autonomous Model I Literacy and Rationality
19
The Autonomous Model II Goody
44
Literacy and Linguistics
66
The Ideological Model
95
Introduction
129
Maktab Literacy
132
Commercial Literacy
158
Unesco and Radical Literacy Campaigns
183
Adult Literacy Campaigns in the UK and the USA
213
Bibliography
233
Index
240
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About the author (1984)

Street is Professor in the School of Education at King's College, London.

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