Interdisciplinary Approaches to Literacy and Development

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $108.41
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 25%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (7) from $108.41   
  • New (4) from $115.09   
  • Used (3) from $108.41   


The links between literacy and development have been the focus of research conducted by both economists and anthropologists. Yet researchers from these different disciplines have tended to work in isolation from each other. This book aims to create a space for new interdisciplinary debate in this area, through bringing together contributions on literacy and development from the fields of education, literacy studies, anthropology and economics. The book extends our theoretical understanding on the ways in which people’s acquisition and uses of literacy influence changes in agency, identity, social practice and labour market and other outcomes. The chapters discuss data from diverse cultural contexts (South Africa, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Peru, and Mexico), and from contrasting research paradigms. The contributors examine the significance of culture and socio-economic contexts in shaping such processes. As such, they contribute to our understanding of the role of literacy in processes of poverty reduction, and its importance to people’s capabilities and wellbeing. The themes covered include: the dynamics of literacy use in the production of agency, the enactment, negotiation and embodiment of new social identities - including gendered and religious identities; the impacts of literate identities and use on institutional relations and social participation; the dynamics of literacy ‘sharing’ and their externalities within and beyond households; formal analysis of the impacts of proximate illiteracy on labour market and health outcomes across men and women and social contexts.

This book was published as a special issue of the Journal of Development Studies.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415468794
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 6/9/2009
  • Pages: 212
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Kaushik Basu is C. Marks Professor of International Studies, and Chairman, Department of Economics, Cornell University. He is also the Director of the Center for Analytic Economics at Cornell.

Bryan Maddox is a lecturer in education and development at the School of International Development, University of East Anglia. He has conducted ethnographic research with adult literacy programmes in Nepal and Bangladesh. He is a member of the Association of Social Anthropologists, and specialises in inter-disciplinary research on education and poverty.

Anna Robinson-Pant is Reader at the Centre for Applied Research in Education at the University of East Anglia. As a development planner, teacher educator and researcher with various international aid agencies, she has spent much of her working life in South Asia.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Interdisciplinary approaches to literacy and development: an introduction and review of the field Kaushik Basu, Bryan Maddox and Anna Robinson-Pant 2. ‘Why Literacy Matters’: Exploring A Policy Perspective on Literacies, Identities and Social Change Anna Robinson-Pant 3. Literacy Sharing, Assortative Mating, or What? Labour Market Advantages and Proximate Illiteracy Revisited Vegard Iversen & Richard Palmer-Jones 4. Externality and Literacy: A Note S. Subramanian 5. Literacies of Distinction: (Dis)Empowerment in Social Movements Dorothy Holland & Debra Skinner 6. Literacies and Discourses of Development Among the Rabaris of Kutch, India Caroline Dyer 7. Mail that Feeds the Family: Popular Correspondence and Official Literacy Campaigns Virginia Zavala 8. ‘Making Things Happen’: Literacy and Agency in Housing Struggles in South Africa Catherine Kell 9. The Roots and the Growth of Women’s Writing in a Peruvian Village Mercedes Nino-Murcia 10. Literacy partnerships: Access to reading and writing through mediation Judy Kalman 11. Models and Mechanisms: Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives on Literacy and Development Bryan Maddox 12. Afterword Brian V. Street

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)