The Social Uses of Literacy

Theory and Practice in Contemporary South Africa

Editors
Mastin Prinsloo | University of Cape Town
Mignonne Breier | University of Cape Town
Preface Author
Brian Street | University of Cape Town
HardboundAvailable
ISBN 9789027217950 (Eur) | EUR 105.00
ISBN 9781556193200 (USA) | USD 158.00
 
PaperbackAvailable
ISBN 9789027217967 (Eur) | EUR 36.00
ISBN 9781556193217 (USA) | USD 54.00
 
e-Book
ISBN 9789027282996 | EUR 105.00/36.00*
| USD 158.00/54.00*
 
Google Play logo
This book details the findings of a research project investigating the social uses of literacy in a range of contexts in South Africa. This approach treats literacy not simply as a set of technical skills learnt in formal education, but as social practices embedded in specific contexts, discourses and positions. What this means is made clear through a series of fine-grained accounts of social uses and meanings of literacy in contexts ranging from the taxi industry in Cape Town, to family farms, urban settlements and displacement sites, rural land holdings, and various sites during the 1994 elections, and among different sectors of South African society, Black, Colored and White.
Since the view of literacy presented here is so dependent on context, the book provides not only descriptions of literacy practices but also rich insights into the complexity of everyday social life in contemporary South Africa at a major point of transition. It can be read as a concrete way of understanding the emergence of the New South Africa as it appears to actors on the ground, focused through attention to one central feature of contemporary life — the uses and meanings of literacy.
“Using fascinating and carefully documented case-study material, this book raises vital questions about literacy and illiteracy, and about adult education. Above all, it questions the efficacy of any literacy programme which fails to acknowledge the many ways in which uneducated and so called ‘illiterate’ people already use reading, writing and numeracy in their everyday lives.” Jenny Maybin, The Open University, Milton Keynes
[Studies in Written Language and Literacy, 4] 1996.  viii, 279 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“Using fascinating and carefully documented case-study material, this book raises vital questions about literacy and illiteracy, and about adult education. Above all, it questions the efficacy of any literacy programme which fails to acknowledge the many ways in which uneducated and so called ‘illiterate’ people already use reading, writing and numeracy in their everyday lives. ”
Cited by

Cited by 114 other publications

Asfaha, Yonas Mesfun & Sjaak Kroon
2011. Multilingual education policy in practice: classroom literacy instruction in different scripts in Eritrea. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education 41:2  pp. 229 ff. DOI logo
Auleear Owodally, Ambarin Mooznah
2014. Maternal reports of home literacy experiences in multilingual Mauritius: a case study of pre-schoolers. Early Child Development and Care 184:11  pp. 1615 ff. DOI logo
Owodally, Ambarin Mooznah Auleear
2011. Multilingual Language and Literacy Practices and Social Identities in Sunni Madrassahs in Mauritius: A Case Study. Reading Research Quarterly 46:2  pp. 134 ff. DOI logo
Bailey, Chris
2021. Situating the Study. In Researching Virtual Play Experiences [Digital Education and Learning, ],  pp. 37 ff. DOI logo
Barton, David
2012. Ethnographic Approaches to Literacy Research. In The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics, DOI logo
Basu, Kaushik, Bryan Maddox & Anna Robinson-Pant
2008. Literacies, Identities and Social Change: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Literacy and Development. The Journal of Development Studies 44:6  pp. 769 ff. DOI logo
Baynham, Mike
2012. Sociolinguistic Studies of Literacy. In The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics, DOI logo
Bialostok, Steve
2006. Literacy Campaigns and the Indigenization of Modernity: Rearticulations of Capitalism. Anthropology & Education Quarterly 37:4  pp. 381 ff. DOI logo
BLOMMAERT, JAN
2004. Writing as a problem: African grassroots writing, economies of literacy, and globalization. Language in Society 33:5  pp. 643 ff. DOI logo
Blommaert, Jan
2004. Grassroots Historiography and the Problem of Voice: Tshibumba's Histoire du Zaïre. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 14:1  pp. 6 ff. DOI logo
Blommaert, Jan
2005. Discourse, DOI logo
Botha, Werner, Bertus van Rooy & Susan Coetzee‐van Rooy
2021. South African Englishes: A contemporary bibliography. World Englishes 40:1  pp. 136 ff. DOI logo
Brouard, Andrew, Lynda Wilkinson & Pippa Stein
1999. ‘Literacy is all around us’: Literacy, Ethnography and Curriculum 2005 in three Johannesburg classrooms. Southern African Journal of Applied Language Studies 7:1  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo
Burns, Anne
2003. Reading Practices: From Outside to Inside the Classroom. TESOL Journal 12:3  pp. 18 ff. DOI logo
Cabral, Estêvão & Marilyn Martin-Jones
2008. Writing the Resistance: Literacy in East Timor 1975–1999. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism 11:2  pp. 149 ff. DOI logo
Castanheira, Maria Lucia & David Bloome
2021. Street, Brian V. (1943–2017). In The International Encyclopedia of Anthropology,  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo
Castleton, Geraldine
2000. Workplace Literacy: Examining the virtual and virtuous realities in (e)merging discourses on work. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education 21:1  pp. 91 ff. DOI logo
Charlewood, Lucy
2000. Book Preferences, Conceptions of Books and Reading Practices Among Urban Adults with a Basic Level of Literacy. African Research & Documentation 83  pp. 61 ff. DOI logo
Cheffy, Ian
2011. Implications of local literacy practices for literacy programmes in a multilingual community in northern Cameroon. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education 41:2  pp. 247 ff. DOI logo
Coleman, Lynn & Jackie Tuck
2021. Understanding student writing from lecturers’ perspectives: acknowledging pedagogic complexity to support transformative practices in context. Studies in Higher Education 46:9  pp. 1894 ff. DOI logo
Collins, James & Richard Blot
2003. Literacy and Literacies, DOI logo
Darville, Richard
1999. Knowledges of adult literacy: surveying for competitiveness. International Journal of Educational Development 19:4-5  pp. 273 ff. DOI logo
Evans, Rinelle & Ailie Cleghorn
2010. ‘Look at the balloon blow up’: Student teacher-talk in linguistically diverse Foundation Phase classrooms. Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies 28:2  pp. 141 ff. DOI logo
Gee, James Paul
2009. Digital Media and Learning as an Emerging Field, Part I: How We Got Here. International Journal of Learning and Media 1:2  pp. 13 ff. DOI logo
Gleich, Utta von
2004. New Quechua literacies in Bolivia. International Journal of the Sociology of Language 2004:167 DOI logo
Green, Julie, Joseph Lo Bianco & Johanna Wyn
1970. Discourses in Interaction: The intersection of literacy and health research internationally. Literacy and Numeracy Studies 15:2  pp. 19 ff. DOI logo
Hamilton, Mary
2006. Just do it: Literacies, everyday learning and the irrelevance of pedagogy. Studies in the Education of Adults 38:2  pp. 125 ff. DOI logo
Harran, Marcelle
2011. What higher education students do with teacher feedback: Feedback-practice implications. Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies 29:4  pp. 419 ff. DOI logo
Harries, Patrick
2001. Missionaries, Marxists and Magic: Power and the Politics of Literacy in South-East Africa. Journal of Southern African Studies 27:3  pp. 405 ff. DOI logo
Hayes, Elisabeth R. & James Paul Gee
2010. No Selling the Genie Lamp: A Game Literacy Practice inThe Sims. E-Learning and Digital Media 7:1  pp. 67 ff. DOI logo
Hull, Glynda & Katherine Schultz
2001. Literacy and Learning Out of School: A Review of Theory and Research. Review of Educational Research 71:4  pp. 575 ff. DOI logo
Hunter, Judy
2007. Language, Literacy, and Performance: Working identities in the back of the house. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education 28:2  pp. 243 ff. DOI logo
Iversen, Jonas Yassin, Juliet Munden & Margaret Nambao
2023. Stories and early literacy education in Zambia: donor-initiated projects, educational policy and teacher beliefs. Language and Education  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo
Janks, Hilary
2000. Domination, Access, Diversity and Design: A synthesis for critical literacy education. Educational Review 52:2  pp. 175 ff. DOI logo
Janks, Hilary
2006. GAMES GO ABROAD. English Studies in Africa 49:1  pp. 115 ff. DOI logo
Janks, Hilary
2014. Globalisation, Diversity, and Education: A South African Perspective. The Educational Forum 78:1  pp. 8 ff. DOI logo
Kell, Catherine
2008. ‘Making Things Happen’: Literacy and Agency in Housing Struggles in South Africa. The Journal of Development Studies 44:6  pp. 892 ff. DOI logo
Kelly, Ann
1970. Explicating Literacy Activities at Work: The use of ‘okay’ as an effective topic-changing device in service request calls. Literacy and Numeracy Studies 18:1  pp. 19 ff. DOI logo
Kendrick, Maureen E. & Hizzaya Hissani
2007. Letters, Imagined Communities, and Literate Identities: Perspectives from Rural Ugandan Women. Journal of Literacy Research 39:2  pp. 195 ff. DOI logo
Kinloch, Valerie
2009. Suspicious Spatial Distinctions. Written Communication 26:2  pp. 154 ff. DOI logo
Lankshear, Colin & Peter O’Connor
1999. Response to “Adult Literacy: The Next Generation”. Educational Researcher 28:1  pp. 30 ff. DOI logo
Lauwo, Monica Shank
2021. Literacies and translanguaging in Africa: A critical review of sociocultural perspectives. Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies 39:2  pp. 210 ff. DOI logo
Lillis, Theresa & Carolyn McKinney
2013. The sociolinguistics of writing in a global context: Objects, lenses, consequences. Journal of Sociolinguistics 17:4  pp. 415 ff. DOI logo
Maddox, Brian
2008. What Good is Literacy? Insights and Implications of the Capabilities Approach. Journal of Human Development 9:2  pp. 185 ff. DOI logo
Maddox, Bryan
2007. What can ethnographic studies tell us about the consequences of literacy?. Comparative Education 43:2  pp. 253 ff. DOI logo
Mankowski, Patty
1998. A Bridging Engineering-English Communication Course. Southern African Journal of Applied Language Studies 6:1  pp. 74 ff. DOI logo
Martin‐Jones, Marilyn, Sjaak Kroon & Jeanne Kurvers
2011. Multilingual literacies in the global south: language policy, literacy learning and use. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education 41:2  pp. 157 ff. DOI logo
Maybin, Janet
2007. Literacy Under and Over the Desk: Oppositions and Heterogeneity. Language and Education 21:6  pp. 515 ff. DOI logo
Maybin, Janet
2013. Working towards a more complete sociolinguistics. Journal of Sociolinguistics 17:4  pp. 547 ff. DOI logo
Millora, Chris
2023. ‘Social-contextual’ approaches to family literacy programmes: policy and practice lessons from Nigeria, Mexico and Nepal. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo
Morris, Gayle & David Beckett
2004. Learning for/at work:Somali women “doing it for themselves”. Journal of Workplace Learning 16:1/2  pp. 75 ff. DOI logo
Moya, Mario R.
2020. Empowering Multilingual Learners Through Critical Liberating Literacy Practices in English-Dominated Speech Communities. In Handbook of Research on Cultivating Literacy in Diverse and Multilingual Classrooms [Advances in Educational Technologies and Instructional Design, ],  pp. 210 ff. DOI logo
Moya, Mario R.
2022. Empowering Multilingual Learners Through Critical Liberating Literacy Practices in English-Dominated Speech Communities. In Research Anthology on Bilingual and Multilingual Education,  pp. 519 ff. DOI logo
Muller, Johan
1996. Dreams of Wholeness and Loss: critical sociology of education in South Africa. British Journal of Sociology of Education 17:2  pp. 177 ff. DOI logo
Murray, Sarah
2002. Language issues in South African education: an overview. In Language in South Africa,  pp. 434 ff. DOI logo
Narunsky-Laden, Sonja
2007. CONSUMER MAGAZINES IN SOUTH AFRICA AND ISRAEL. Journalism Studies 8:4  pp. 595 ff. DOI logo
Ngaka, Willy
2021. The role of communities in Uganda’s mother tongue-based education: Perspectives from a literacy learning enhancement project in Arua district. Applied Linguistics Review 12:4  pp. 545 ff. DOI logo
Nixon, Helen & Barbara Comber
2006. Differential recognition of children's cultural practices in middle primary literacy classrooms. Literacy 40:3  pp. 127 ff. DOI logo
Nkansah, Theophilus
2022. The Role of Adult Literacy in Community Development in Ghana: Perceptions and Experiences of Two Rural Communities. The International Journal of Community and Social Development 4:3  pp. 272 ff. DOI logo
Nurss, Joanne R.
1998. Functional Context/Outcomes-Based Literacy Assessment. Southern African Journal of Applied Language Studies 6:1  pp. 59 ff. DOI logo
Openjuru, George
2004. A comparison of the ideological foundation of the FAL and REFLECT approaches to teaching adult literacy in Uganda. Language Matters 35:2  pp. 407 ff. DOI logo
Openjuru, George Ladaah & Elda Lyster
2007. Christianity and rural community literacy practices in Uganda. Journal of Research in Reading 30:1  pp. 97 ff. DOI logo
Otto, Sheila & David Bloome
2000. Book Review: Studies of Everyday Literacy Practices and Case-Study Methodology. Journal of Literacy Research 32:1  pp. 129 ff. DOI logo
Papen, Uta
2010. Literacy mediators, scribes or brokers?. Langage et société n° 133:3  pp. 63 ff. DOI logo
Papen, Uta & Karin Tusting
2020. Using ethnography and ‘real literacies’ to develop a curriculum for English literacy teaching for young deaf adults in India. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education 50:8  pp. 1140 ff. DOI logo
Parry, Kate
1999. Language and Literacy in African Contexts. Language Matters 30:1  pp. 113 ff. DOI logo
Perry, Kristen H.
2009. Genres, Contexts, and Literacy Practices: Literacy Brokering Among Sudanese Refugee Families. Reading Research Quarterly 44:3  pp. 256 ff. DOI logo
Poole, Deborah
2003. Linguistic Connections Between Co-Occurring Speech and Writing in a Classroom Literacy Event. Discourse Processes 35:2  pp. 103 ff. DOI logo
Poole, Deborah
2008. Interactional Differentiation in the Mixed‐Ability Group: A Situated View of Two Struggling Readers. Reading Research Quarterly 43:3  pp. 228 ff. DOI logo
Postill, John
2007. Knowledge, literacy and media among the Iban of Sarawak. A reply to Maurice Bloch. Social Anthropology 11:1  pp. 79 ff. DOI logo
Pretorius, Elizabeth J
2010. Issues of complexity in reading: Putting Occam's razor aside for now. Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies 28:4  pp. 339 ff. DOI logo
Prinsloo, Mastin
1998. ‘Behind the back of a declarative history’: Acts of erasure in Leon de Kock'sCivilizing Barbarians: Missionary narrative and African response in nineteenth century South Africa. English Academy Review 15:1  pp. 32 ff. DOI logo
Prinsloo, Mastin
2012. Literacy in Community Settings. In The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics, DOI logo
Prinsloo, Mastin
2023. Literacy in Community Settings. In The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics,  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo
Richardson, Paul
1998. Literacy, Learning and Teaching. Educational Review 50:2  pp. 115 ff. DOI logo
Riskedahl, Diane
2023. Playing with Accents in the Khede Kasra Campaign in Lebanon: Multimodality in Visual Politics. In Visual Politics in the Global South [Political Campaigning and Communication, ],  pp. 29 ff. DOI logo
Robinson, Clinton
2007. Context or key? Language in four adult learning programmes. International Journal of Educational Development 27:5  pp. 542 ff. DOI logo
Robinson, Clinton
2023. Literacy. In Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research,  pp. 3928 ff. DOI logo
Rogers, A.
2006. DFID experience of adult literacy. International Journal of Educational Development 26:3  pp. 339 ff. DOI logo
Rogers, Alan
1999. Improving the quality of adult literacy programmes in developing countries: the `real literacies' approach. International Journal of Educational Development 19:3  pp. 219 ff. DOI logo
Samson, Melanie
1999. Undressing Redress: a feminist critique of the South African National Qualifications Framework. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education 20:3  pp. 443 ff. DOI logo
Schneider, Cindy
2016. Talking around the texts. Written Language & Literacy 19:1  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo
Schneider, Cynthia
2011. Why Field Linguists Should Pay More Attention to Research in Applied Linguistics. Australian Journal of Linguistics 31:2  pp. 187 ff. DOI logo
Searle, Jean
2009. A Lens on Literacy: Workplace Competence and Professional Practice. In Elaborating Professionalism,  pp. 35 ff. DOI logo
Sligo, Frank, Elspeth Tilley, Niki Murray & Margie Comrie
2015. Young adult literacy learners describe the text–orality nexus. Text & Talk 35:1 DOI logo
Smith-Greenaway, Emily
2015. Educational attainment and adult literacy. Demographic Research 33  pp. 1015 ff. DOI logo
Snyder, Ilana, Lawrence Angus & Wendy Sutherland-Smith
2002. Building Equitable Literate Futures: Home and school computer-mediated literacy practices and disadvantage. Cambridge Journal of Education 32:3  pp. 367 ff. DOI logo
Snyder, Ilana & Mastin Prinsloo
2007. Young People's Engagement with Digital Literacies in Marginal Contexts in a Globalised World. Language and Education 21:3  pp. 171 ff. DOI logo
Stein, Pippa & Lynne Slonimsky
2001. Knowledge, authority and identity in home literacy events: A case study from Gauteng. Current Writing 13:2  pp. 66 ff. DOI logo
Strawn, Clare & Geraldine Monama
2012. Making Soweto stories: photovoice meets the New Literacy Studies. International Journal of Lifelong Education 31:5  pp. 535 ff. DOI logo
Street, Brian
1997. The Implications of the ‘New Literacy Studies’ for Literacy Education. English in Education 31:3  pp. 45 ff. DOI logo
Street, Brian
2004. Academic literacies and the ?new orders?: implications for research and practice in student writing in higher education. LATISS: Learning and Teaching in the Social Sciences 1:1  pp. 9 ff. DOI logo
Street, Brian V.
2017. New Literacy Studies in Educational Contexts. In Teacher and Librarian Partnerships in Literacy Education in the 21st Century,  pp. 23 ff. DOI logo
Sánchez Tyson, Lorena
2024. ‘Learning to read and write is to defend yourself’: Exploring Indigenous perspectives and reimagining literacies for self-determination in Mexico. International Journal of Educational Development 106  pp. 102992 ff. DOI logo
Unterhalter, Elaine
2008. The capability approach and gendered education: some issues of operationalisation in the context of the HIV/AIDs epidemic in South Africa. In The Capability Approach,  pp. 489 ff. DOI logo
Velghe, Fie
2014. ‘I wanna go in the phone’: literacy acquisition, informal learning processes, ‘voice’ and mobile phone appropriation in a South African township. Ethnography and Education 9:1  pp. 111 ff. DOI logo
Walter, Pierre
2005. Literacy practices in development: An ethnographic study of women in Northeastern Thailand. Studies in the Education of Adults 37:1  pp. 63 ff. DOI logo
Wedin, Åsa
2006. Literacy Practices in Rural Tanzania: The Case of Karagwe. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 27:3  pp. 225 ff. DOI logo
Wedin, Åsa
2013. Letters, authority and secrecy: the case of Karagwe in Tanzania. Language and Education 27:1  pp. 44 ff. DOI logo
Wedin, Åsa
2024. Becoming an independent Swedish citizen: Critical literacy as a tool for multilingual literacies in Swedish for Immigrants. Studies in the Education of Adults 56:1  pp. 26 ff. DOI logo
Whitescarver, Keith & Judith Kalman
2009. Extending traditional explanations of illiteracy: historical and cross‐cultural perspectives. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education 39:4  pp. 501 ff. DOI logo
WILSON, ANITA
2009. Literacy and Writing: Ideology in Practice. Reviews in Anthropology 38:4  pp. 290 ff. DOI logo
[no author supplied]
2011. “Papelito Manda”. In The Lettered Mountain,  pp. 153 ff. DOI logo
[no author supplied]
2011. References. In The Lettered Mountain,  pp. 311 ff. DOI logo
[no author supplied]
2011. From Khipu to Narrative. In The Lettered Mountain,  pp. 71 ff. DOI logo
[no author supplied]
2011. Power over Writing. In The Lettered Mountain,  pp. 183 ff. DOI logo
[no author supplied]
2011. Conclusions. In The Lettered Mountain,  pp. 285 ff. DOI logo
[no author supplied]
2011. Introduction. In The Lettered Mountain,  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo
[no author supplied]
2011. Notes. In The Lettered Mountain,  pp. 301 ff. DOI logo
[no author supplied]
2011. An Andean Community Writes Itself. In The Lettered Mountain,  pp. 31 ff. DOI logo
[no author supplied]
2011. Writing and the Rehearsal of the Past. In The Lettered Mountain,  pp. 221 ff. DOI logo
[no author supplied]
2011. A Tale of Two Lettered Cities. In The Lettered Mountain,  pp. 125 ff. DOI logo
[no author supplied]
2011. Village and Diaspora as Deterritorialized Library. In The Lettered Mountain,  pp. 261 ff. DOI logo
[no author supplied]
2014. The Rural Community Library in Africa as a Context for Literacy and Reading. In Rural Community Libraries in Africa [Advances in Library and Information Science, ],  pp. 18 ff. DOI logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 17 june 2024. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.

Subjects

Linguistics

Writing and literacy

Main BIC Subject

CF: Linguistics

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  96014789 | Marc record